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+4 votes
I've been noticing a lot of conflict in my group of friends recently, but lacking experience with group dynamics or psychology, I wanted to see if anyone here knew of any good anti-authoritarian texts or advice on group dynamics, how to analyze them, and how to improve them for everyone involved in a non-authoritarian way.

(The specific problem I'm having is that certain people in the group engage constantly in what they say is good-natured teasing, but others in the group feel that it is simply mean-spirited trolling. When the former group was asked to alter their behavior, they claimed they would "rather die" than change even a small part of their behavior in that regard, and that the second group should just leave if they have a problem. Is that really the best course of action, or is there a better solution to problems like these?)
by (260 points)
It sounds like not everyone in the group agrees there is a problem to be solved.

I share your desire for finding ways to deal with and/or resolve conflict with friends in non-authoritarian ways, but if someone were to tell me they'd rather die than engage in exploring what I see as conflict in our relationship, I'd probably spend less time with them. Maybe that's a cop-out, but I've hit my head against the wall enough times in this type of situation to make me question the value of spending my energy on something with someone who isn't interested in it.

A little piece of advice I can offer is to spend more effort finding out if the other people are interested in deeper discussion about the conflict. If they are, you have a starting point, and there are a lot of ways you could go about exploring it, talking about it, creating solutions, etc. If not, well, see my above paragraph. :)

1 Answer

+1 vote

i think this is an interesting general question, but don't have a lot of options to offer you.
the one book that i think speaks (fairly well, certainly interestingly) to this is (don't laugh) starhawk's book on groups, um... oh yea, truth or dare. the main thing i remember about it is descriptions of roles that people play in groups, and how each role has good and bad things... it can help to rethink how people interact with each other when one is feeling boxed in and irritated.

not that i would know anything about that.

looking forward to other people's insight on this question.

ps: also, if anyone ever says that i recommended a starhawk book, i will deny it.  ;)

by (53.1k points)
I've got a screen shot of this, so, um, denial is pointless. I for real lol'd at you bringing up Starhawk, but actually have heard that this is a good book elsewhere (from other people I would trust). I've never read anything by her (other than some shorter articles and essays).

I have read some stuff that might be helpful, but I want to think on it a bit...
everyone knows you're a whiz at photoshop, ingrate, so obviously you will have faked any page that includes such scurrilous lies!
actually, the real problem is I can't remember how to take a screen shot and I have never worked in photoshop (even though I've used adobe for layout stuff...). I am an ms paint master though, so maybe that will do.