Transformative conflict theory describes the "destructive conflict cycle" as being experienced as a sense of weakness and self-absorption. That is, when we're in conflict, we feel weak (less capable, less competent, less effective, less in control than usual) and we feel self-absorbed (we can't figure out what the other person is thinking, we demonize them, we assume the worst about them, we can't empathize with them). It happens to all humans. This summer it happened to me on a hiking trip with my nephew. Here's the blog post.