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The Purpose of Healthy Conflict

Posted on: June 5th, 2018

The Purpose of Healthy Conflict

In our current climate we are inundated with constant reminders of divisions. These divisions are perpetuated by the sense of tribalism and the access to social media that allows us to find cohorts who share our opinion and block those who choose to disagree. We are creating a false reality where our world is becoming smaller. A world in which we seek the comfort of like mindedness instead of the growth of diverse perspectives. This trend is alarming for various reasons. A world without conflicting views does not allow for growth. It is a world where ignorance prevails. It is a world where empathy is non- existent. I believe if we are not careful as a society we will lose the fundamental benefits of healthy discourse in the face of conflict. Healthy conflict can serve the following purposes:

  • Healthy conflict encourages new ideas and possibilities. It creates a new perspective that fosters growth.
  • Healthy conflict raises questions. This provides an opportunity to anticipate problems and development of a strategy to solve them.
  • Healthy conflict builds relationships. It would be very easy for if everyone agreed at all times, but it would also be very boring. Healthy conflict helps us gain a respect for another person’s perspective; thereby fostering empathy.
  • Healthy conflict brings change. Typically change does not occur passively. It occurs through work and recognition of interpersonal and personal conflict.

As we continue to navigate the murky waters of divisive rhetoric, it’s important to open our ears, our minds and our hearts and attempt to hear that which does not line up with our own limited experiences and perspectives.


Alicia Lurry MA LPC CRC