If you want to avoid conflict at work, don’t put a single person next to an only child. A new study shows these groups are most prone to annoy each other.


Dr. Andrejs Ozolins, senior lecturer at the department of psychology at Växjö University in
Sweden, has studied how people get into workplace conflicts depending on relationship status and birth order.


Of the 300 people studied, two groups stood out when it came to conflicts — single people and only children.


“It is like a ladder with youngest children at the bottom and single, only-children at the top,” Ozolins said. “One reason sums it up: Relationships. If you have siblings, you soon learn that you can’t always get the biggest piece of the cake every time.”


According to Ozolins this is an important lesson for the workplace that only children miss out on.

He adds that single people appear to be more prone to conflict because they often don’t have anyone to discuss everyday problems and thoughts with.

But a good friend can fill that role for a sociable single person. Ozolins says: “The behaviour is above all explained by being lonely, and more single people are lonely. “One of the worst punishments man has come up with is ostracizing, to be excluded.”

He hopes the study will show the importance of relationships both at work and outside work.