Although some conflict is inevitable in life, some of the our species have learned that creating conflict and seeking resolution can be tools to achieve an end.
Consider this example.. person A starts creating conflict with person B, a conflict that was not naturally there but that they wish to engineer… over time it becomes apparent to other people that there’s tension..
Person B may react to the taunting and become upset or angry at the unfairness of the situation.. .. thus the “conflict” becomes common knowledge – but really person B didn’t want nor initiate any conflict.. Person A, the initiator of the conflict then publicly ( emphasis on publicly because this part needs an audience ) says they want to put it behind them and move on so has chosen to be the bigger person and apologize.. BUT ( and here’s the killer blow, here’s why they started it in the first place ) person B must also admit they had a part in starting in, share the blame and apologize.. publicly.. And the kicker is ….that if person B doesn’t apologize, they are seen by the surrounding audience either as the antagonist, or someone who doesn’t want peace…. This is why this game has to be played in a group setting for it to work… because the entire purpose was to create pressure onto person B for them to admit to and apologize for something they had no part in…and if they don’t they appear to be uncaring, unfair, in flexible or the guilty party.
Its about control.. person A wants to control person B.
How do we deal with it ? There really is only one way…and that is to state very publicly that there is no conflict from your side and more importantly REFUSE to engage whatever the other person says. NEVER defend because as soon as you defend you validate the attack…. State simply and calmly that there is no conflict and walk away and keep doing that. When others want to discuss the conflict, again state that there isn’t one and refuse to engage or discuss. Expect to be taunted to get you to engage but as soon as you do you lose.. And just keep on doing this.. When you take the drama out of it, the game becomes less attractive to the antagonist…
Oh and finally do not engage in validating people’s interpretations.. if you actually said “I find Sue to be a powerful person” and the antagonist decides to interpret that as “Sue is aggressive” do not engage, do not validate what you said and do not take any ownership of how they choose to spin it or apply an alternate meaning, that’s another ploy to control you and get you to engage…
Its easy to use this example in cases where maybe we did have some part in the conflict, in order to make ourselves feel better but beware of that..Above all be clear and objective, take ownership of all that you do, constantly review if you were fair and open and admit when you aren’t.