2dissatisfied, facing doubts and fears about meeting the same type of situation in thefuture.
This tactic is essentially a delaying action. Defusion strategies are used to “cooloff” the situation, at least temporarily, or to keep the issues so unclear that attempts atconfrontation are improbable. Resolving minor points while avoiding or delayingdiscussion of the major problem, postponing a confrontation until a more auspicious time,and avoiding clarification of the salient issues underlying the conflict are examples of defusion. Often the person who seeks to defuse a conflict wishes to accommodate tomeet the needs of the other people involved at the expense of his or her own needs.Defusion works when delay is possible or desirable, such as when two people are tooangry to discuss a problem effectively and agree to resolve that problem at a specific latertime. However, if those people then fail to discuss the problem later, they may end upwith feelings of dissatisfaction, anxiety about the future of their relationship, and doubtsabout themselves.
The third major strategy involves an actual confrontation of conflicting issues orperson. Confrontation can further be subdivided into competition, compromise, andnegotiation.Competition indicates a desire to meet one’s own needs and a lack of concern forthe needs of the others involved. The competitor uses some form of power, persuasion,or coercion. Competitive strategies include the use of physical force (a punch in thenose, war); bribery (money, favors); and punishment (withholding love, money, jobpromotions. Such tactics are often very effective from the point of view of the“successful” party in the conflict: that person wins; the others who are involved lost.Unfortunately, however, for the losers the real conflict may have only just begun.Hostility, anxiety, and actual physical damage are the by-products of these “win-lose”power tactics.Compromise reflects a desire to find a resolution that will partially meet the needsof everyone involved. The individual who seeks a compromise expects the outcome tobe mutually acceptable and somewhat satisfying to all of the parties, he or she alsoexpects to give up something for the sake of achieving a resolution that everyone can livewith.Negotiation is based on a desire to meet the needs of all people involved in aconflict. With negotiation strategies, everyone can win. The negotiator works to see thateveryone’s needs are acknowledged as important, that several possible resolutions andtheir consequences are identified, and that the alternative that meets each party’s goals inchosen and implemented. Because of its “win-win” emphasis, negotiation has thepotential to provide the most positive and the least negative by products of all conflict-resolution strategies.