Conflict is Good, with Ian Leslie


Manage episode 291011558 series 2849868
By J. Paul Neeley. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
“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 Munthe:

Learn more about the Parlia project here:

And visit us at:

See for privacy and opt-out information.

39 episodes