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Analysis of Personal Conflict Experience

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Throughout life, I have learned that conflicts can be small or large, with 2 or 15 people…a particular conflict that I experienced encompasses all 4 qualities. My close group of friends of around 15 people who I generally get along very well with, all have a common enemy. His name is Luke and the majority of my friends stopped spending time with him because of his off putting personality. Luke then began clinging to the few last people including myself who would simply put up with him. Aside from once being friends, we quickly drifted apart after multiple differences in opinions.

What happened in the conflict and how did it escalate?

The total conflict included 3 separate arguments. The first situation was with Luke and myself when he confronted me about a party of mine and why he wasn’t invited. This argument was bashful and awkward because the true answers to his questions were harsh and I knew he would not like them, so I avoided them. I quickly ended this argument by allowing him to attend the party, and omitting my true thoughts because I caved under the pressure. Inviting Luke temporarily ended the conflict, but created a second argument with my friends and I over his presence at my party. They were all furious and produced an ultimatum of either his presence or theirs. This final demand was because of their discomfort, not out of spite. I chose to give my friends the power to uninvite him, thus ending argument number 2. The third argument involved Luke, my friends and myself because Luke was made aware that people didn’t want him there and confronted me directly about it. I had a conversation with him explaining that I don’t speak for other people and that he would not be allowed at my house for various reasons. This conflict ultimately escalated because I was not honest with Luke from the beginning.

Why did the conflict start or escalate?

The conflict started and escalated because Luke was uninvited from a Prom after party and heard that I was having a party of my own. He found out and immediately confronted me about the party questioning why he wasn’t invited. We went back and forth for a long time meanwhile he was making me feel small and unappreciated, whereas I saw him as intrusive and rude. He then proceeded to say to me, “I’m not invited to the other party, but I assume I’m at least invited to yours” at which point I felt backed into a corner and I agreed. At this point the conflict between Luke and I was essentially resolved because I backed away. When I revealed the news to everybody in the group chat, it was not pretty. I received 15 texts from 15 different individuals asking me why Luke was suddenly invited and how they would not come if he was there. It was at this time that a new conflict arose between all of my friends and myself, escalating a simple conflict between Luke and I into a web of arguments and complaints. What attempts were made to resolve the conflict? My lack of blunt, upfront honesty with Luke caused a ripple effect now including multiple people and moving parts. The first attempt to uninvite Luke from the party was initiated by a couple of girls telling him they didn’t feel comfortable if he went. The girls felt bad and therefore never followed through.

The second attempt to resolve this conflict was made by a friend of mine named Noah, who was mature enough to volunteer and explain to Luke why he was suddenly uninvited from yet another Prom after party. Noah called Luke on the phone and respectfully told him that there were certain anonymous people who did not feel comfortable with him being there. Noah did not however tell Luke that it was a unanimous decision. At school the next day, the conflict between Luke and I was once again continued when he approached me and asked me who didn’t want him there and why I would not stand up for him. I argued with him for several minutes until I told him that he was in fact not allowed to come any more because I decided to have the others over instead. I was finally honest with Luke and explained that others would have a better time without him there.

What was the outcome, and why did the steps taken produce the outcome?

The outcome was horrible, and Luke’s feelings were hurt. Luke did not end up going to Prom and did not come to my house afterwards because of how hard he took the news that was hidden for so long. At the time, I felt disappointed in myself for the way things turned out for Luke and I realize the steps taken were too drawn out. Luke had no idea for so long how much everybody disliked him and therefore was extremely blindsided when everything was revealed. Eventually, I morally felt better being honest with Luke in the end because none of my friends or myself have ever been honest about our feelings for him.

What did this experience teach you about conflict?

I understand that conflicts will always be a problem in life and the only thing I can do is learn from them. During this particular conflict I learned that hiding my feelings from Luke only made matters worse. I also now understand that trying to keep someone’s feelings from getting hurt might not always be the best option during a conflict. I realize that this particular outcome is unfortunate and if I were to go through this conflict again, I would face the consequences of telling Luke right away. What I learned about conflict in general is that feelings and egos will always get hurt and trying to change that will only make everything more complicated in the end.

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