Relationships can very complex hence highly difficult to manage especially when partners are bound by fate rather than by individual and optional interests towards each other. For instance, people do not choose be siblings but are expected to exhibit a healthy relationship despite the nature of differences between them(Verderber 160). In addition, a brother or a sister being one of the people someone a person interacts or is to interact the for the longest time in a lifetime, their rivalry or enmity can be very disappointing or sometimes surprising hence emotionally extremely demanding to handle. Nonetheless, it is a common scenario that siblings for various reasons, such as dishonesty or completion, undergo differences that escalate to fierce rivalry if poorly addressed. My elder brother and I presents a typical case of a discord between children of the same parents, which emanated from assumptions that it was unlikely to have in-depth dispute between siblings. The row, which started as healthy childhood competition deteriorated to outright wrangles and a declaration of war between us in adulthood. Nonetheless, both of us clearly acknowledge that as siblings we are supposed to maintain a healthy relationship and the need to support each other in life but no one has ever bothered to suggest a solution in the past. Thus, recently, after consultations with family and friends, I proposed a ceasefireand a well thought collaborative approach to end the wrangles.
Pursuing incompatible goals, which are personal objectives that are naturally mutually exclusive or demand similar and scarce resources is one of the leading causes of conflicts between siblings. For instance, the discord between brother and has been largely by unhealthy competitions with a primary objective of impressing parents. Notably, nobody including my parents could predict that the end result of the competition could as far-reaching as it is today because at early stages the contention basically involved academics, which seemed healthy (Rockefeller 89). Besides, any behavioral aggressiveness was regulated by the presence of parents hence everything appeared normal. Nevertheless, after high school, I had to join college and move away from my parents in a similar manner as my brother had done a few years before me. Therefore, away from the parents, the previously controlled aspect of the dispute had a far and wide reaching ground to operate in full swing especially considering additional catalysts to the feud, such as interdependency and superiority. Relationship
Superiority, includes either of the party feeling more important or assuming higher authority than the other is one of the factors that has taken the issue to a very high level. Specifically, my brother feels that, by being the eldest of us, he is naturally the most senior especially in the absence of parents. On the other hand, having beaten all of his previous academic records and being past the age of majority, I feel that I have a right to equally participate in decision making particularly involving my affairs.Notably, most of our verbal engagement ends in a fierce confrontation and with no agreed conclusion because of the superiority race between us.Nonetheless, I have been depending on my brother for emotional, as well as financial supports hence increased his feeling of seniority (Noller 130). Thus, the interdependency, as well as the superiority competition have resulted to a stretched relationship between us. Relationship
In most cases, the competitions between us results to jealousy, especially from the perceived loser, and interference aimed at securing a win or avoiding a loss. For instance, after completing high school and scoring a higher grade than my brother had scored few years earlier, I started realizing a change of attitude from him particularly characterized by invalid complains. Interference, which includes dishonesty and a competition of family any other type of resources accessible to both of us, are some of the features of our relationships. For instance, last year, when I tipped my brother that I was intending to borrow some money from my father to start a small scale business, he called my father and warned him of giving me any money because he was suspecting that I was using drugs. Since then, our relationship has been characterized by deceptive maneuvers, as well as interaction avoidance. Thus, the perceived healthy childhood competition is now fully developed, because of poor interpersonal communication, to immense hostility, which is quickly degenerating towards use of dubious schemes against each other. Relationship
Julia Woods suggests a strategy of conflict resolution between partners that is based on seeking and assessment of information, as well as making judgement regarding validity and showing appreciation (238).Notably, information gathering include immense and appropriate listening to establish meaningful trends from communication elements, such as complains. According to Wood, there are three commonly utilized strategies of conflict evaluation, which arelose-lose, win-lose and win-win. The least preferred Lose-lose strategy indicates that resolving a certain conflict is injurious to all the parties involved. Win-lose method suggests that addressing a discord leads to one of the parties benefiting and the other one losing, while the win-win mechanism, which is the highly used technique, implies that conflict resolution benefits all of the partners. Therefore, after gathering adequate information regarding a specific dispute, evaluations are conducted to establish the best mechanism of responding.
After discord evaluations, a response mechanism is selected considering the nature of the conflict and the willingness of the parties involved to participate in the process. One of the methods or levels of addressing a disagreement is known as the exit response, which involves physical or psychological withdrawal from a relationship. The exit response strategy is commonly utilized in lose-lose situations because addressing the conflict cannot elicit adequate benefits to or all of the parties involved (Noller 123). Denial Response is another method of responding to a conflict, which is characterized by immense refutation that a disagreement exists. In this level, a discord is bound to increase hence partners must identify means of acknowledging that a problem exists unless its impacts are insignificant. The third technique, which is the actual beginning of conflict resolution, is known as the loyalty response that requires all the parties be committed to ending the strife. Voice response is the last approach of conflict resolution, which involves active talking, about an issue, to identify the most favorable solution. Adopting proper listening and engagement techniques is highly important in the voice response phase to improve the understanding of a party. In addition, seeking advice from outside is immensely important to navigate complex and interlocked aspects of negotiations. Thus, effectively manage feuds, parties must analyze an issue, acknowledge that a problem exists and make commitments to address the matter, as well as actively engage in solution formulation and implementation. Relationship
In a voice response, factors of proper communication are highly important to avoid negative aspects such as debilitative emotions by embracing supportive statements hence lead to smooth engagement and achieve positive results. For instance, parties are supposed to utilize descriptive remarks and refrain from using evaluative sentiments. In addition, provisionalism must be embraced and certainty avoided to create a room for discussion. Furthermore, constructive discussion must encourage problem solving oriented remarks, as well as disregard control focused statements to enhance autonomy and freedom to parties. Finally, Wood suggests that voice engagements must involve empathy and prevalence of equality to ensure effective communication of the intended message.
Six weeks ago, my brother and I recognized the essence of ending the rivalry that has taken decades to develop hence designed a plan of action. The intervention program included problem evaluation to establish the specific causes of the disagreement, commitment to address the issue, and a structured active engagement aimed at the development of rules and guidelines that will guide our future interactions. In the evaluation phase, each party was supposed to identify five previous events that were considered to be the greatest triggers of the discord. Each events was supposed to be accompanied by personal views and interpretations regarding the behavior of the other party. A meeting was supposed to be convened afterwards before the next phase to identify a common view on the sources of the conflict. The meeting was designed to include complains, bargaining, which included avoidance of insignificant issues, compromise to accommodate others views, and collaboration to develop future engagement. Advice from parents was supposed to help us maneuver through points of immense differences. After problem evaluation, each one of us was supposed to make commitment to a win-win approach of ending the conflict. Finally, the final phase of the intervention program involved formulation of future engagement by considering the sources of the previous disagreements. Relationship
The results of the six weeks program reveals that assumptions are the main source of conflicts between myself and my brother. Assumptions that include competitions between siblings cannot lead to dangerous rivalries between the parties. In addition, pursuing incompatible goals, such as competing to please parents, forms the foundation of the conflict. Furthermore, the six-week intervention indicates that avoiding to solve minute disagreements and denying that, such discords exist, led to a build-up, which explodes, with time, to serious confrontations and arguments(Verderber 133). For instance, after my brother exhibited a high level of dishonesty by lying to my father that I had become a drug user, there was a complete shutdown of interactions between us only for them to reappear after a while. After identifying the main causes of our dispute, we developed a six month program of new commitment, which was to be evaluated monthly by both parties with the help of parents. The programs begins with apologies regarding faults identified on either of the parties, forgiveness, and reconciliation. In addition, programs involves increased interaction, which includes a monthly physical meeting and phone call communication at least once in two days, immediate conflict reporting and resolving, and including negotiations before planning using of family resources. Relationship
Noller, Patricia. “Conflict in Family Relationships.” The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships, 2012, pp. 129-143.
Rockefeller, J D. How to Get Kids to Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk. 2015.
Verderber, Kathleen S, et al. Inter-act: Interpersonal Communication Concepts, Skills, and Contexts. 2010.
Wood, Julia T. Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. 2016.