Navigating conflict is part of everything: Family, relationships, business. Productive disagreement can lead to innovation, compromise, and inclusion.

But investigative journalist Amanda Ripley has spent much of her career studying what she calls “high conflict.” This is where disagreements get so entrenched that they become identities, and a cycle of blame. People are quickly sucked into a tribal mentality: “It’s Us verses Them.” This is what has become of our politics, our online discourse, and actual warfare, as we’ve sadly seen in recent weeks.

But there’s hope. After covering disasters, warzones, and local politics for years, Amanda has identified specific signals that turn good conflict into high conflict. And there are tactics we can use to break the cycles of tribalism.

Through this lens, Amanda and Whitney discuss ways to address intractable conflict at any scale: Marriages, co-workers, neighborhoods, government, and even the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


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