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  • ... fighting is a game where everybody is the loser.

  • Borders are scratched across the hearts of men / By strangers with a calm, judicial pen, / And when the borders bleed we watch with dread / The lines of ink along the map turn red.

    • Marya Mannes,
    • "Gaza Strip," Subverse: Rhymes for Our Times ()
  • The conflict of chemistry we do not think reprehensible. If we could look at social conflict as neither good nor bad, but simply a fact, we should make great strides in our thinking.

  • What people often mean by getting rid of conflict is getting rid of diversity, and it is of the utmost importance that these should not be considered the same.

  • It is possible to conceive conflict as not necessarily a wasteful outbreak of incompatibilities, but a normal process by which socially valuable differences register themselves for the enrichment of all concerned.

  • One of the greatest values of controversy is its revealing nature. The real issues at stake come into the open and have the possibility of being reconciled.

  • There are three ways of dealing with difference: domination, compromise, and integration. By domination only one side gets what it wants; by compromise neither side gets what it wants; by integration we find a way by which both sides may get what they wish.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • Conflict is resolved not through compromise, but through invention.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • He was dizzy with conflict; he had two souls, and not to save them both could he have disentangled the soul of light from the soul of shadow.

  • For to be desperate is to discover strength. / We die of comfort and by conflict live ...

    • May Sarton,
    • "Take Anguish for Companion," The Land of Silence ()
  • ... those who attack always do so with greater fervor than those who defend.

  • A careful blending of sarcasm, irony, and teasing, bickering has its own distinctive cadence and rhythm and is as difficult to master as French, Spanish, or any elective second language. Like Chinese, the fine points of bickering can be discerned in the subtle rise and fall of the voice. If not practiced properly, bickering can be mistaken for its less sophisticated counterpart: whining.

  • Conflict is the soul of literature.

    • Erica Jong,
    • in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, vol. 1 ()
  • I do not love strife, because I have always found that in the end each remains of the same opinion.

  • Words began fights and words ended them.

  • Perhaps the habit which distinguishes civilized people from others is that of discussion, exchange of opinion and ideas, the ability to differ without quarrelling, to say what you have to say civilly and then to listen civilly to another speaker.

  • Conflict is the very essence of life.

  • The children worked on each other like two indestructible pieces of sand-paper.

  • It is very difficult in quarreling to be certain in either one what the other one is remembering. It is very often astonishing to each one quarreling to find out what the other one was remembering for quarreling. Mostly in quarreling not any one is finding out what the other one is remembering for quarreling, what the other one is remembering from quarreling.

  • The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.

  • The better part of valor is to spend it learning to live with differences, however hostile, unless and until we can find another planet.

  • It takes two flints to make a fire.

  • I devoutly believe that there is no difficulty between two people for which both are not responsible.

    • Margaret Mead,
    • 1976, in Margaret M. Caffrey and Patricia A. Francis, eds., To Cherish the Life of the World: Selected Letters of Margaret Mead ()
  • Conflict is inevitable, the source of all growth, and an absolute necessity if one is to be alive.

  • Conflict begins at the moment of birth.

  • He had felt like a man rushing to catch a train he was anxious to miss.

  • Cooperation isn't the absence of conflict but a means of managing conflict.

  • This book is about a pervasive warlike atmosphere that makes us approach public dialogue, and just about anything we need to accomplish, as if it were a fight. It is a tendency in Western culture in general, and in the United States in particular, that has a long history and a deep, thick, and far-ranging root system. It has served us well in many ways but in recent years has become so exaggerated that it is getting in the way of solving our problems. Our spirits are corroded by living in an atmosphere of unrelenting contention — an argument culture.

  • Agreeing to disagree is a prerogative only of those who live under a democratic system.

  • Can one consider controversy without falling into it?

  • If two people are to resolve their differences, they first have to find out what those differences are. Each has to be able to hear what the other one wants.

  • You only really get to know people when you've had a jolly good row with them.

  • The truck drivers had gotten together and figured out that in crowded traffic conditions, the only way to get where you wanted to go was to be so big that you didn't have to get out of the way for anybody. This is known as the Large Object Theory of History.

  • Unfortunately civility is hard to codify or legislate, but you know it when you see it. It's possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

  • Empathy is the biggest negotiation tool. I must try to understand where the other person's coming from to make points for my side.

    • Lee Ducat,
    • in Sherry Suib Cohen, Tender Power ()
  • The U.S.-Mexican border es un herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country — a border culture.

  • Let me say to begin with: It is not neurotic to have conflict ... Conflicts within ourselves are an integral part of human life.

  • Never give anyone an ultimatum unless you are prepared to lose.

  • I was then at the height of my two-facedness: that is, outside I seemed one way, inside I was another; outside false, inside true.

  • There is a rule in sailing where the more maneuverable ship should give way to the less maneuverable craft. I think this is sometimes a good rule to follow in human relationships as well.

  • It is a mark of a superior mind to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

  • It isn't ever the world you fight. Always, always, it's yourself.

    • Helen Eustis,
    • "A Winter's Tale," The Captains and the Kings Depart and Other Stories ()
  • When your fight has purpose — to free you from something, to interfere on the behalf of an innocent — it has a hope of finality. When the fight is about unraveling — when it is about your name, the places to which your blood is anchored, the attachment of your name to some landmark or event — there is nothing but hate, and the long, slow progression of people who feed on it and are fed it, meticulously, by the ones who come before them. Then the fight is endless, and comes in waves and waves, but always retains its capacity to surprise those who hope against it.

  • All conflict can be traced back to someone’s feelings getting hurt, don’t you think?