A conflict situation can be made worse by:

  • The words you use – swearing, dismissing people, insults and put-downs.
  • How you say them (your tone of voice) – obvious anger and aggression, sarcasm, talking over the other person, shouting loudly, or being patronising or dismissive.
  • Body posture –an aggressive stance (preparing to fight), squaring up and standing too close. Also appearing uninterested and as if you are not listening.
  • Gestures – finger pointing, rude gestures, patting someone's head and signalling aggression (‘come on’)

Conflicts which are allowed to continue can lead to:

  • Arguments getting worse, making a resolution much more difficult.
  • Tactics becoming more destructive, such as threats, violence and displays of emotion (anger).
  • More people getting involved.
  • Relationships and friendships breaking down.
  • Less respect for those involved.
  • Difficulty in communicating.
  • An intense desire to win the argument.
  • An intense desire for the other person to lose – e.g. making the other person suffer becomes the priority.