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Conflict Explosion! The Reactive Triad- 4, 6, 8


Finishing up this round of blogs on 4s, 6s, and 8s, I wanted to illustrate something they all have in common. These 3 types make up the Reactive Triad (part of the Harmonic groups) which means they all have the same general approach to conflict. Each type can easily get stuck in the negative emotions associated with a conflict which is both a strength and a liability. They see long before other types what may be negative or harmful in a conflict and address it when others may not have noticed it at all yet. The word reactive refers to emotion, each type emotionally reacts and wants a similar negative reaction from the person they are in conflict with for it to feel authentic. Intense and emotional would be two other ways to describe this group. Here is how it breaks down by style:

Style 4: Needs to process negative emotion, usually intensely and at length, most openly emotional and/or dramatic. Willing to trust, looks to other person for guidance and advice.

Style 6: Vacillates between trust and self protection, much depends on how secure they feel in that relationship. Sometimes looking for guidance, sometimes looking to advise the other. They are somewhat of a combination between the 4 and 8 conflict styles.

Style 8: Reacts with emotion expressed as anger or frustration, self protection, denies and looks to minimize own vulnerability. Looks to advise the other person, avoids dependence on or need for the other.

The lesson in addressing conflict with these three types is be sure to process the emotional reactions they are experiencing. They may keep those underlying reactions close to the chest (particularly with 8s) but they are driving the conflict and should be addressed.

Remember, the strength of this group is that they see problems as they are developing, not just when they are in full force. Pay attention to their insights, as working through things early may prevent issues later on.


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