• High Conflict

  • Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out
  • By: Amanda Ripley
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ripley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (536 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $14.95

Buy for $14.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

When we are baffled by the insanity of the “other side”—in our politics, at work, or at home—it’s because we aren’t seeing how the conflict itself has taken over.

That’s what “high conflict” does. It’s the invisible hand of our time. And it’s different from the useful friction of healthy conflict. That’s good conflict, and it’s a necessary force that pushes us to be better people.

High conflict is what happens when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the kind with an us and a them. In this state, the brain behaves differently. We feel increasingly certain of our own superiority, and everything we do to try to end the conflict, usually makes it worse. Eventually, we can start to mimic the behavior of our adversaries, harming what we hold most dear.

In this “compulsively readable” (Evan Osnos, National Book Award-winning author) book, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley investigates how good people get captured by high conflict—and how they break free.

Our journey begins in California, where a world-renowned conflict expert struggles to extract himself from a political feud. Then we meet a Chicago gang leader who dedicates his life to a vendetta—only to realize, years later, that the story he’d told himself about the conflict was not quite true. Next, we travel to Colombia, to find out whether thousands of people can be nudged out of high conflict at scale. Finally, we return to America to see what happens when a group of liberal Manhattan Jews and conservative Michigan corrections officers choose to stay in each other’s homes in order to understand one another better, even as they continue to disagree.

All these people, in dramatically different situations, were drawn into high conflict by similar forces, including conflict entrepreneurs, humiliation, and false binaries. But ultimately, all of them found ways to transform high conflict into good conflict, the kind that made them better people. They rehumanized and recatego­rized their opponents, and they revived curiosity and wonder, even as they continued to fight for what they knew was right.

People do escape high conflict. Individuals—even entire communities—can short-circuit the feedback loops of outrage and blame, if they want to. This is an “insightful and enthralling” (The New York Times Book Review) book—and a mind-opening new way to think about conflict that will transform how we move through the world.

Featuring audio highlights from actual interviews, town hall meetings, and podcasts.

©2021 Amanda Ripley. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about High Conflict

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    427
  • 4 Stars
    86
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    408
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    376
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perspective and Tools for Conflict-Drenched Times

Amanda Ripley draws deeply from wells of experience covering conflict as a reporter and interviewing experts. As a conflict-management practicianer myself (an organizational ombuds), I love her use of stories to illustrate and deepen concepts like "looping" (a form of reflective active listening).

As a narrator, Ripley does an admirable job. I wouldn't hire her to narrate someone else's book, but her tone and pacing serve her text well. The inclusion of recorded clips is an unusual but nice touch, adding some special color and texture to the production you would never get from reading.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the top 3 books I’ve ever read

This book has so much rich knowledge in it it’s hard to dissect all at once. I am a physician and listening is some thing that is paramount to what I do, yet conflict rises constantly throughout my day. Many of them are small conflicts but once in a while a true high conflict situation arises. It’s been difficult for many of us in the medical field to really understand how to handle conflict. I believe this book is a valuable tool for all of us individually, but many of us who work in fields with significant and voluminous human interaction would benefit most from listening to Amanda Ripleys wonderful thesis on conflict.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great.

Well worth listening to. Well-researched, excellently read, interesting stories, and lots of helpful information to utilize on a personal level. Great job, Ms. Ripley!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book of the past 5 years

This is a must read for every leader. She provides excellent information and examples to better understand how conflict happens and ways to prevent falling into the “tar pits”.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

well written, compelling diagnosis & prescription

It's well written, compelling, and believable. highly recommended for anyone wondering if there's a way out of polarized times.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Vital information for everyone

I loved this book! It was packed with interesting stories and examples that made me understand the work I need to do to begin to have better conversations. It isn’t easy to have conflict but through this book there are examples of why some conflict helps us grow and how high conflict limits us. It definitely makes me want to learn more about the topic and stretch beyond my comfort level. The author does a great job narrating too. I highly recommend this book!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This audio book is a must

Easy to listen, narrator made the whole experience worth it. The content is great, it is absolutely a must in these days!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Writing!

A great piece that had been researched and is in depth for the conflicts of our day.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very worthwhile!

Great stories of examples of high conflict and managing conflict in a healthy way. Thanks Amanda!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Essential Reading - Most Timely

This book is enlightening, edifying, informative, but it is as moving and enjoyable as reading a novel. Amanda Ripley is a marvelous storyteller and the book felt like a series of interlocking short stories. We’ve all met the person who maintains calm objectivity when challenged and can see the dignity in those who are losing a grip on theirs. This book gives us a peek inside and encourages us to learn how they do that, how to find humble curiosity instead of going with the knee jerk reactions. While we are being goaded into aggressive levels of conflict from news and social media, this book reminds us that we can choose to be the calm at the eye of the storm. Thank you Amanda Ripley!! Well written and well read!! I feel as though I know you!!

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andris Racko
  • Andris Racko
  • 04-21-21

👍 Good book!

It is a very good and useful book, I like it.
Easy to listen thru, and good way to look at our own conflicts in our lives.
I hope people will use this book as a guide out of high conflicts around us.
And one more funny fact, this book just confirms that all problems coming from the same old evil "lazyness" 😉
Am i wrong?

1 person found this helpful