How does war and conflict affect relationships?
War and Conflict are opposites to Communication and Mediation or Compromise (give and take). In every relationship, between countries, between friends, between siblings, between politicians, between co-workers, and between men and women, there are options as to how we will behave towards each other and how we will perceive each other, etc.
When we live in an environment of war and conflict between countries, it affects our perspective on every other relationship in our lives. We then see those options as more viable, more necessary, to protect what is ours and for our survival. Presidents and leaders affect the mindset of the people they preside over, just as parents and teachers and bosses affect the mindset of the children, students, and employees they guide/rule.
A president can tell its people that the economy is fine, our land is the best, we can have what we want, as Bush did, and people go out and overspend on their credit cards, deny global warming, and become further narcissistic, against their own long-term interests. Former President Bush also chose war and conflict with Iraq, using lies to convince a nation that it was the right thing to do, and the nation responded (at first) with fear and then denial.
In a family, a parent who is authoritative creates a war and conflict enviornment. There is a power struggle between parent and child, that the child has no chance in winning. The parent teaches the child to cope in life with oppression, conflict, and asserting power. Many times, a child just recoils, and internalizes all this exhibiting war and conflict on him or herself, through self-hatred and self-agression.
When there is open communication, respect, and a willingness to compromise, or to take into account another perspective, as well as an ability to empathize and have compassion, this is the opposite of the war and conflict phenomenon.
President Obama is a good example of this kind of leader, raising the hopes and spirits of individuals and families all over the world with this mindset. A parent, boss, or teacher has that same power, and, thus, that same responsibility.