Chapter 2 – Why don’t they just get it? Defining and understanding our differences

Learning Objectives

  • Consider how personality, values, and gender impact conflict
  • Identify and define personal values and how values impact conflict
  • Understand how perception and attribution  impact and/or drive conflict
  • Examine how to improve your perceptions


“Differences simply act as a yarn of curiosity unraveling until we get to the other side.” Ciore Taylor

Most of our lives we have known that we are in some ways like other people and in some ways different.  Some of these differences are visual and obvious, such as different styles in how we dress to differences in our skin color.  Other differences are more covert and hard to pinpoint, such as differences in our personalities, our values, and even our genders. So often differences get in the way of creating strong and lasting relationships because we don’t know how to identify them or how to manage them.  Differences can and should  be a beautiful part of our lives.  If it wasn’t for differences in peoples opinions, ideas, experiences, and approaches to problems, the world would be a more bland and boring place.  In this chapter we are going to explore just a few of the ways in which people are different, how we can identify those differences, and how our perceptions of our selves and others lead to conflict.  At the end of the chapter we will look at ways to use these tools to help understand yourself and other and build strong relationships though our differences.


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Making Conflict Suck Less: The Basics Copyright © 2020 by Ashley Orme Nichols is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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