Thursday, August 19, 2004

Hidden conflict

Is conflict good? Surely not. Harmony is good. However, sometime it seems that conflict brings problems to the surface and thus can then be looked into and solved promptly. I suggest the term "visible conflict" for situation where the parties previously having "hidden conflict" express their views. In this sense, I would say "visible conflict" is better than "hidden conflict". "Hidden conflict" might be taken as "fake harmony", which should be sub-productive and potentially dangerous because the longer a conflict is hidden/suppressed, the more serious the situation will be when it becomes visible eventually.

By the same argument, to resolve conflict should mean to eliminate it and achieve harmony. However, many times we wrongly think that conflict has been resolved by hidding/suppressing it. For example, when two kids argue, the elder, by power and authority, instructs them to stop arguing. They might have no choice but to adhere to the elder and stop arguing. This situation is a state with "hidden conflict" or "fake harmony", while the conflict is not clearly unresolved but rather just being hidden or suppressed.

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