Conflict Quotes

Reading the many conflict quotes that famous people have uttered throughout history is a great way to view conflict from different perspectives. Conflict, whether personal or historical, always arises for the same fundamental reasons, which are the inability for humans to effectively and rationally communicate with each other.


The "Father of Psychology" and philosopher William James once said, "Whenever you are in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.

Attitudes created out of fixed hostility, close-mindedness and the desire for power will result in conflict escalation and the potential for a destructive outcome. The attitude for which James was advocating in order to present a conflict resolution that satisfies all parties involved should be one that:

  • Is open to appreciating and discussing the opposing point of view.
  • Is non-judgmental.
  • Is calm and unafraid of confronting the issue creating the conflict.
  • Remains positive that the conflict will be resolved.

Benefits of Conflict

The majority of conflict quotes view conflict as a psychological process that is beneficial to increasing a person's emotional I.Q. as well as his or her ability to cope with life's struggles.

William Ellery Channing's quote, "Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict" indicates the author believes that all types of conflict, when handled correctly and rationally, have the ability to lead to relationships enhanced by the deep insights, feeling of accomplishment and sense of peace created when conflict is amicably resolved.

Other conflict quotes implying that interpersonal conflict offers a chance to improve relationships with others as well as the relationship you have with yourself include:

  • "Conflict builds character. Crisis defines it.” - Steven V. Thulon
  • "Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it" - Anonymous
  • Conflict can be seen as a gift of energy, in which neither side loses and a new dance is created.” - Thomas Crum
  • Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” - African Proverb
  • Conflict is the primary engine of creativity and innovation.” - Ronald Heifetz
  • "Opposition brings together and from discord comes perfect harmony.” - Heraclitus

Marriage Conflict Quotes

The subject of marriage conflict is an important one today due to the rising divorce rates and high number of married couples who visit marriage counselors each year in an attempt to save their marriage. Conflict quotes regarding the problems that lack of communication in troubled marriages create can provide short, vivid observations to which spouses may have been blind due to their unwillingness to present an open, rational attitude towards the conflict.

  • "Marriage means expectations and expectations mean conflict.” - Paxton Blair
  • "All married couples should learn the art of good battle...which is objective and honest but never cruel or vicious. Good battle is constructive and healthy, able to bring to the marriage the principle of equal partnership.” - Ann Landers
  • "What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.” - Leo Tolstoy

Conflict Within Yourself

At the bottom of all conflicts is the inability of one or both parties involved to "know thyself,” or have a profound understanding of what is causing them to become entangled in a disagreement. Many knowingly experience ongoing inner conflicts they do not want to acknowledge because it would mean admitting that they are not being true to themselves or to someone else.

Dealing with an inner conflict may be one of the most painful things you have ever done, but the feeling of calm and appeasement upon resolving the conflict is well worth the time, effort and momentary discomfort.

  • "The most dramatic conflicts are perhaps those that take place not between men but between a man and himself, where the arena of conflict is the solitary mind.” - Clark Moustakas.
  • When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” - African Proverb
  • "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph". - Thomas Paine

These inspiring conflict quotes can help keep things in perspective and possibly help resolve the disagreement in the end.

Return from Conflict Quotes to What Is Conflict

Visit BrainyQuote for more Quotes