High Conflict vs. Good Conflict: The Vital Difference

Episode 82 - Depolarizing America with Amanda Ripley

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How can Americans break free from the cycle of destructive conflict and find common ground?

Every day we are bombarded with negative news and polarizing opinions from politicians, pundits, and others who seek attention, power, and money by escalating division. Our guest, Amanda Ripley, calls them “conflict entrepreneurs.”

In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, Amanda explains why she believes the problem we face in America isn’t too much conflict. Instead, it’s the type of disagreements we are having. We hear about the crucial differences between constructive conflict, where different sides seek to find common ground, and destructive conflict where discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, with an “us” and a “them”.

Amanda Ripley is a journalist and columnist for The Washington Post. Her recent book, High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out covers many of the topics we discuss in this episode. We hear how people escape high conflict and what willing communities can do to short-circuit the feedback loops of outrage and blame.

Read the Episode Transcript

Ep 82 – High Conflict vs. Good Conflict: The Vital Difference

Amanda Ripley

Amanda Ripley is a New York Times bestselling author and an investigative journalist who writes about human behavior and High Conflict - Why We Get Trapped and How to Get Out. change for the Atlantic, the Washington Post and other outlets. She is the author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, The Smartest Kids in the World–and How They Got That Way and The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes, and Why, and she is the host of the Slate podcast How To!

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