Some people are better at conflict than others.

Some actually enjoy it-- get energy from it, put it to use. Others feel exhausted by conflict, feel drained by it, avoid it.

American culture is having a reckoning with conflict. What do we do with all of it?! How do we be productive with it? Is there any way for conflict to bring us closer together?

Empathy is the answer. Empathy is usually the answer, but especially when it comes to conflict, and I think a few moments of empathetic reflection in the midst of heated conversation would go a long way for changing the Country's discourse and the relationships we have with our associates, friends, and family.

Why is it that so many people have difficulty asking the simplest questions: 'Do you think I'm being out of line?' 'Do you think I'm wrong?'

Don't these simple questions prop open the door for empathy, so that a more compassionate, useful, less ego-centric conversation can develop?

Brandon Cohn