Conflict is an indelible aspect of human experience: from childhood contrasts with playmates to disagreements between partners, often accompanied by fluctuations in reconciliation and rupture, to quarrels and problems between spouses, parents, and children, colleagues, bosses, and subordinates, conflict accompanies us throughout our existence.
However, conflict is an unpleasant experience: the state of conflict increases stress, and anxiety, or at least creates uncertainty, anxiety, and discomfort. Trying to avoid this is understandable behavior. Fortunately, the conflicts to which we are exposed or which we unwittingly provoke do not have serious consequences, they can be resolved or ignored without facing serious dilemmas. But a protracted or serious conflict is very painful and can cause significant damage.
In the classification of conflicts, we find interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts. Interpersonal conflict occurs when people have opposite interests when there is disappointment in expectations or there are significant differences in values and priorities. To reduce interpersonal conflict, two main methods are used together:
- The first is a technique that erases differences to reduce contrasts and find common ground (for example, by identifying common values, memories, and interests).
- The second is a method that directs the negative energy of the conflict (expressed in aggressiveness, frustration, discontent, and negative expectations) in a positive direction – avoiding breakdowns due to misunderstandings.
This type of conflict can arise in various spheres, such as family, school, and work.
This type of conflict is what happens in a person with himself, that is, it is an internal crisis that can be associated with problems of self-esteem, stressful experiences, and unpleasant situations. The way to eliminate intrapersonal conflicts works through introspection to increase intrapersonal intelligence.
The next type of conflict is a hidden conflict. Hidden conflicts are hidden due to various factors, such as the exclusion of some parties due to legitimacy due to fear of the consequences that may arise.
Hidden conflicts are less “manageable” than those that manifest themselves since they do not provide the possibility of direct intervention unless they are transformed into explicit conflicts.
Conflict of interest
The people involved have different and opposite interests that can only be satisfied to the detriment of the other. A conflict of interest often arises when:
- One or both sides have intentions that hide each other.
- The parties were not completely honest in their demands or expressing their needs, and one of them felt betrayed by the other.
- The other did not keep his promise and did not take responsibility.
When the real problem is an irreconcilable conflict of interests, and one of the parties behaves very competitively, unfairly, and does not want to negotiate.
In the classification of conflicts, we find intergroup and intragroup conflicts. We often find ourselves in situations of competition between groups, and an intergroup confrontation seems inevitable. This is something that can happen, for example, between companies.
People who are on the periphery of the group are usually the best at dealing with the outside world, so often being in the center, at the head of the group turns out to be unfavorable for managing intergroup conflicts. High levels of intergroup blocking lead to stress for members inside, to the point that they increasingly focus on following internal rules to avoid discomfort.
Intergroup phenomena cannot be explained solely by addressing personal problems or individual frustrations, but it is necessary to take into account the properties of groups and the consequences of membership in groups of individuals. Conclusions: the conflict of interests, also represented by competitive games, underlies the conflict between groups, therefore, competitive goals lead to conflict between groups. Higher-order goals lead to collaboration between groups.
On the other hand, we find an intra-group conflict. In this case, a conflict arises between members of the same group. This is what happens inside the company. The difference between the intra-group and inter-group conflict is that one arises within the group, and the other arises in the relationship between the two groups.
Types of family conflict
A family is a place of conflict: in relations between genders and generations, between the family and the outside world. It is in the family that you learn to cope with conflicts and differences, as well as maintain relationships with others. What is received in the family is an integral part of our physical and spiritual heritage, which we bring to the society in which we live.
Conflict is productive and proactive if it is effectively resolved by family members. Next, we will see how to resolve a family conflict:
- First of all, it is important to create a calm and favorable atmosphere in which everyone can freely express their opinions.
- Always support the free expression of mutual ideas.
- Focus on the problem that needs to be solved, avoiding any form of attacks on the person with whom you disagree.
- It is necessary to clarify the subject of discussion and avoid the generalization of accusations.
- Always listen to others and their motives to understand and comprehend the situation.
- Formulate constructive criticism.
- Compromise, confrontation, and negotiation play a fundamental role: in other words, mediation.
The next type of conflict is international: relations in which the interests of two or more States are revealed when they are incompatible, that is, when the interests of one cannot be satisfied without prejudice against the interests of the other. The function of the international order is to regulate the mutual behavior of States to reconcile these conflicts.
According to international law, States are obliged to resolve international disputes peacefully, but they have the right to choose the means of solution that they consider the most appropriate. The decision procedures are characterized by:
- Diplomatic procedures (direct negotiations), may include the intervention of a third party (mediation, reconciliation, investigation, etc.). They are all aimed at facilitating an agreement between the parties (dispute settlement agreement).
- Judicial proceedings, that is, the transfer of the dispute to an arbitrator (international arbitration) or an international court. These means, unlike diplomats, guarantee the resolution of the discussion through an arbitration award or verdict, which are binding on the parties to the dispute.
Types of couples conflict
In the classification of conflicts, we find everyday conflicts, such as relationships. If a person believes that love means no problems, no conflicts, he is very mistaken: quarrels and contradictions are inevitable if you want to live in a couple, moreover, within certain limits they are even desirable. The conflicts of a couple allow you to clarify your positions, resist and grow, take consistent steps in the further development of the couple and find new balances.
The solution to a family conflict involves:
- Open recognition of the conflict, that is, an approach to their problems: a necessary step toward its solution.
- A clear definition of the goals and reasons why it is in conflict.
- The assumption of cooperation, allows you to move from a “conflict in relationships” to a “conflict of contrast”.
Conflict of power
According to Touraine (1986), social conflict arises when the theme of power is inserted: anyone who can “dominate social relations within the social system, in particular in the distribution of social benefits such as income and education, has power. The parties to the conflict can act within the logic of “I win, and you lose.” One of the interlocutors, as a rule, occupies a position of superiority, which allows them to exercise power and, consequently, to lead, while the other, as a rule, is in a position of submission, that is, obedience to authority.
If the interlocutors remain firm in their positions, a vicious circle and a power struggle can be considered as initiated, and what Vaclavik defines as a symmetrical escalation will occur, that is, continuous and strong conflicts can lead to mutual exclusion.
Problem with work
Conflicts in the work environment and group dynamics between colleagues or companies are some of the possible causes of stress at work. They are usually associated with the presence of any incompatibility, significant disagreements, or disagreements within or between organizations. An employment dispute may arise between two different companies or within the same company. This second type of conflict is quite frequent and arises as a result of disagreements between members or subgroups of the same organization, differences in goals, functions, and distribution, and management of labor activities. Some key elements of labor dispute resolution:
- Conflict analysis.
- Effective communication and assertiveness.
- Mediation and negotiation skills.
Types of school Conflict
In the school environment, social and organized reality, conflict can arise at different levels, between different people and different groups (intra-group or intergroup). Let’s look at different types and examples of conflicts and solutions.
- The conflict between children.
- The conflict between teachers and children.
- The conflict between teachers and families.
- The conflict between teachers and professors.
- The conflict between teachers and management or teaching staff.
5 tips for resolving school conflicts:
- Create a favorable school climate.
- Take care of everyday worries by paying attention and listening.
- Preventive type interventions.
- Ways of socio-affective development.
- Create “system actions” (routes that lead, or at least approximate, the joint responsibilities of the school and family).
A social conflict is defined as a conflict that affects two or more social groups that are fighting with each other for exclusive resources or the strictly defensive purpose of conservation, or even, in general, when a competitive situation is established between groups.
The way out of a group conflict situation is inevitably the ability to argue without resistance, accepting the “expensive” aspect of this operation and the risk of finding that some positions are difficult to reconcile. Processes of concerted participation, in which people freely discuss with a desire to confront and express their options without fear of censorship and exclusion, are situations that enliven any social dynamic by introducing participation, investment, and a sense of belonging to the community.
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