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Unexpressed emotions are often interpreted as aggression - Conflict Management Part 5


When we do not understand what someone is feeling and it is not expressed in words, it is often interpreted as aggression. We get ready to defend ourselves when we do not feel confident about what is going on in the relationship.

It is easy to become desperate when our needs are not being met and we don't see how they can be met.



When we fail to make contact, we may resort to threats, demands and labels in the hope of getting what we need. The paradox is that threats, demands and labels tend to make it more difficult to get needs met, not easier.

It is likely that blaming, demands and judgments are painful or threatening, which

reduces their willingness to contribute to us. Focus on 'contact before contract'.


When we do not understand what someone is feeling and it is not expressed in words, it is often interpreted as aggression. Expressing emotions makes us human to others.

There are a few things to consider if you are expressing emotions during a conflict or a challenging situation. If you express emotions and blame them on another person's actions, it is common for the other person to feel guilty. Guilt often blocks contact between people.

Show that you are willing to take responsibility for your feelings by linking them to your needs.

This makes it easier for others to listen and maximizes your chances of being understood.


If you would like to know more about how you can be a third party when others are in conflict, take a look at our online mediation program here.

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