On Opinion
On Opinion
Apr 28, 2021
Conflict is Good, with Ian Leslie
Play • 44 min
“The avoidance of conflict is actually the real problem”

We traditionally view an argument as a symptom of a problematic relationship, but relationship psychologists have found that they actually lead to healthier and happier people. Children who grow up arguing with their parents do better in school, and couples who air their disagreements stay together longer.

What holds true for the family, holds true for all groups of people: conflict is central to Democracy. Humans evolved to reason collectively: we need each other to get to the truth.

“For valuable conflict to occur, you need two things: a shared goal, and agreed rules of engagement.”

Listen to Ian and Turi discuss:

  • Why arguments are good for us
  • Why most ‘conflict’ on social media isn’t ‘Fight’ so much as ‘Flight’
  • Why emotion is so important in conflict
  • How we can turn our cognitive flaws to society’s advantage
  • How human individuals evolved to argue, but society evolved to reason.
  • Democracy as an ‘Infinite Game’
  • How we can have healthy arguments
“It doesn’t matter if you are right, it matters that WE, as a society, are right. Arguing is what gets us there.”

Works cited include:


Ian Leslie

Ian Leslie is a writer and author of acclaimed books on human behaviour. He writes about psychology, culture, technology and business for the New Statesman, the Economist, the Guardian and the Financial Times. He is the author of Conflicted.

More on this episode

Learn all about the Parlia Podcast here.

Meet Turi Munthehttps://www.parlia.com/u/Turi

Learn more about the Parlia project here: https://www.parlia.com/about

And visit us at: https://www.parlia.com




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