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Little things

Often it’s the little things at first that trigger the contradiction. It happens every day. You say, want or do something and you don’t get an approval, but a no. So far no problem – most of the time! Why is it that (specific!) generalised contradiction arises from small things?

In everything one communicates, one also communicates a certain view of the situation. Everyone sees reality as he/she sees it. This view of the situation is unquestioningly assumed to be common. This world, assumed to be common, is always carried along in social encounters as an expectation, so to speak. “Isn’t that nice?” is a popular question. Confirmation is desired. This expectation of commonality is fundamentally burdened by any contradiction. People have a preference for approval and so social communication relies on it.

If this consent is denied, communication usually quickly returns to the familiar pattern: “I didn’t mean it like that!”, “Of course I’ll go with you! If the contradiction is repeated, the basic expectation of consent is called into question. Conflict arises when communication changes pattern. So when the denial does not remain situational, episodic – a small thing! – but the expectation on both sides changes towards uncertainty. The (repeated) refusal of consent or the repeated “no” threatens the feeling of being understood and cooperation. Incompatibility comes into play. What was supposed to be one world explicitly becomes two. Thus the conflict is born.