Essay Sample on Conflict Escalation and Resolution

Published: 2023-09-25
Essay Sample on Conflict Escalation and Resolution
Essay type:  Problem solution essays
Categories:  Communication Conflict resolution Conflict management
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1358 words
12 min read

Appropriate conflict management is essential to maintain a positive relationship between people living in an area. This necessity arises because, usually, as people interact, they are likely not to use the same logic in some case (Lacomba, 2014). The existence of the differing logic attracts misunderstandings between the conflicting parties. The continued amicable association between the parties depends on their ability to solve their differences. The two significant directions that any contradictory situation is likely to take are a sudden eruption of individuals until they reach their peak, and the harboring of slow but burning feelings until when one of the parties confronts the other (Noll, 2000). I adopt the slow-burning approach, progressively escalating to eruption time. Using this paper, I seek to expound on my path to conflict escalation and resolution using the five phases of conflict management.

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Statement of the Conflict Scenario

To adequately explain how I would approach the escalation and resolution of conflict, I want to make use of the misunderstanding I had with Alex, my schoolmate while I was still undertaking my 8th-grade studies. Our families shared a home on one of the apartments in the school's neighborhood, and we would spend some substantial time of the day together. Alex was naughty, and he would easily cause a scene without significant reason. Usually, near the end of every term, in the interest of attaining a certain level of syllabus coverage, school give more assignments. Most of them have tight deadlines that one would tolerate borrowing study materials regardless of how risky the end can turn. I faced the same situation during my last term of the 8th-grade studies. The school had given out some school assignments that needed submission within two days, and my laptop had just gone faulty.

The computer repair technician was taking my dad through rounds, and since we had no money to acquire a new one, I decided to borrow Alex laptop, and use it to finish and submit the assignment. Alex offered to bring me the gadget in my home, as he wanted to play some improvised Blanket Volleyball game with my younger brother. Since we had no much space in our apartments, I sat in one corner of the room as the two used the remaining side. After scoring against my brother, Alex hit the ball which accidentally knocked the computer into pieces. He was agitated and was vehemently blaming me for not being vigilant with what might be in the surrounding. The acquisition was baseless, considering that we usually use the area for studying, and I could not prevent Him from playing at the time since I wanted to use his computer. The occurrence ignited an exchange of bitter words between us, and no one would subdue himself. We could only solve the case after engaging Oliver as a mediator.

Description of Case concerning the Five Stages of Escalation and Resolution

Noll (2000) model put conflict escalation and resolution into five stages. Immediately after I conflict with someone, I enter the first stage, also called Stage One. Using my appreciation that any relationship can result in conflict, I understand that with proper care, the parties can resolve the clash if they value mutual empathy. My immediate reaction when Alex started abusing me was expressing my disappointments with him since I presumed his rationality was baseless. At this point, despite having frustrations, I was still calm and would welcome an objective and cooperative approach towards the solution. However, Alex assumed the whole situation and even reacted when I attempted to reach out to him. As Corissajoy (2016) pointed out, such reaction leaves the other party injured father. The reaction escalated my response to the next stage in the model.

In the second stage, I usually find myself fluctuating between cooperating and at the same time competing with the other party. This position agrees with Lacomba (2014) argument that indicated a prevalence of confusion on one side of conflicting parties, where the party lack a decision on whether to embrace discussion or press the other to surrender to his or her stand. Although I understand the need to solve the conflict, my wish to win the argument derails the process. My approach to access the information did not consider Alex’s’ arguments, and I engaged logic to try is I would win Alex over. As Alex purposed to defend his stand, I almost quit from the debate. In this case, I keep on supporting my position, causing an escalation in the intensity of the conflict.

In Stage Three, I attain at the point of concrete actions, and my conscience no longer sees the possibility of arriving at the common ground with the other party. Since the focus has shifted to authority over empathy, my mind becomes biased, and stereotypically identify the opponent negatively. I turn hostile to the other party and focus all arguments on the action. Sometimes, the conflicting parties may engage in nerve-wracking but unproductive discussions and can decide to involve other people of their choosing (Corissajoy, 2016). I informed one of my friends', Steve, to try and force Alex to see his mistakes. Failure of the efforts in this stage pushes me into phase four of the model.

At Stage Four, my cognitive functioning regresses. Although I may understand the other party’s argument, the escalated ego in me blocks the ability to embrace the opponents reasoning, and feelings. Since Alex had engaged his friend Peter as his spokesperson, the long contention left no one with the will to accept his mistake. Failure of the situation to solve the conflict dramatically escalates the stage by significantly increasing intensity (Noll, 2000). This state pushes me into the last step.

In this stage, progressive regression appears as a comprehensive ideology capitalizing on antagonistic perspectives (Lacomba, 2014). I lose convictions, values, and superior moral obligations. I presume myself as an authority and think that I cannot lose the case even in court. Similarly, I drew my entire self-conception into the conflict at the expense of Alex’s arguments. This feeling pushed me only to strive to control the situation completely. The conflict grows to the point that it can only be solved through the court of law after the parties reach financial or physical exhaustion.

Reversal of the Escalation Phases and Resolution of the Conflict

The exhaustion serves as the final point beyond which I cannot go. The attainment of this phase thus provides only one option, finding an approach to resolve the conflict, which is reversing the five stages (Noll, 2000). For sufficient resolution, I prefer the inclusion of a third party, which acts as a mediator who would listen not only to my claims but also the demands of the person we conflict. In this scenario, we had to involve Oliver, the guiding and counseling patron of our school. The success of the reversal process relied on Oliver’s mastery of the stages of escalation. He took a progressive and systematic approach, handling each step with caution not to invoke regression.


Handling of conflict escalation and resolution processes requires a good understanding of the five phases in the escalation model. The first stage is easily reversible since the conflicting parties still have their senses right, while the final step is almost irreversible since everyone's ego is at its peak. Personally, the final stage even snatches my understanding of moral obligations. The five stages also form the basis of conflict resolution. Before the conflict reaches its peak, the parties may use spokespersons to solve the case if they feel overwhelmed by ego. However, I prefer the gradual decrease, reducing the intensity of each phase, and progressively reverting to the default stage one. In cases where the conflict reaches the fifth, mediation remains the only option, with the parties obliged to follow the advice of the mediator.


Corissajoy. (2016, July 05). Limiting Escalation/De-escalation. Beyond Intractability.

Lacomba, J. A., Lagos, F., Reuben, E., & van Winden, F. (2014). On the escalation and de-escalation of conflict. Games and Economic Behavior, 86, 40-57.

Noll, Douglas (2000, November). Conflict Escalation: A Five Phase Model. Mediate. is charted in five, relationships have moments of conflict.&text

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