Understanding The Root Cause Of Conflict

conflictYesterday’s blog post dealt with how to resolve conflict in every relationship. If you missed it, it is one you will want to go back and read, it is life-changing material. It is a topic that many want to talk about and all of us can improve on. If we are going to get better at it we need to understand the root cause of conflict.

The Root Cause Of Conflict

Unmet Expectations

When we have expectations of others that are not based on reality, especially in those we know and love, we are headed for disappointment.  Look at what Ruth Graham, wife of Evangelist Billy Graham, says about unmet expectations:  “I pity the married couple who expect too much form one another it’s foolish to expect from one another that which only Jesus Christ can be.  Always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, making more than adequate provision,  such expectations put a marriage under impossible strain.”

Unmet expectations can be a part of any relationship, not just marriage. You may have experienced this with an employer, family member, or close friend.  The more you are able to recognize when you are putting un-realistic expectations on others you will keep conflict at bay.


The Bible is very clear about this. In fact, Jesus’ brother James is downright blunt about it: “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” (James 4:1 NLT) Seriously James?! Evil desires? Perhaps you don’t think of self-centeredness as an evil desire, but it is. Understanding this will help so much in living out your potential as God’s masterpiece.

Consider for a moment today how many unspoken expectations you have of others. Are you expecting them to meet a need in your life that only God can meet?  We often think the more we get to know each other in any relationship the more things are going to work out.  The truth is, the more we get to know each other the more we see the differences and the more we see the differences the more opportunity there is for conflict in life.

The good news is, when we deal with conflict in a healthy way, it will help all of our relationships to add value to our lives. Make sure you understand what you can do to resolve conflict in your relationships by reading the Life Palette blog post: “Conflict Resolutions Leads To Healthy Relationships.”

Be sure and read tomorrow’s Life Palette post for 2 more key tools in resolving conflict. Discover your endless potential and priceless value by getting every Life Palette post in your email. Subscribe at Lifepalette.com.


In what ways do you see people having unrealistic and unhealthy expectations of their relationships?