Existential Psychology

Stirring Up Conflict

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The common mistake made when relating to people who enjoy stirring up conflict is believing that these people are emotionally engaged in the proceedings. This is because in normal conflict situations both parties are emotionally engaged.

But the motivation behind stirring up conflict is different from normal conflict situations. The goal is not to come to some sort of resolution but just the opposite, to create chaos. These people are not emotionally engaged in the controversy, what they are emotionally engaged in is seeing others out of control, knowing they’re personally responsible for lighting the fuse.

It’s about power, and when you see it this way you’ll be less likely to take the bait. Emotional volatility is exactly the reaction these people are hoping for. The subject of controversy is utterly unimportant to them, it’s just a cover for their real intentions. What is important to them is watching you get riled up and feeling powerful as a result.