Conflict
Conflict exists when individuals who depend on each other express different views, interests, or goals and perceive their views as incompatible or oppositional.

Conflict is • Natural • Inevitable • Potentially constructive .

Conflict • Expressed disagreement—all conflict is expressed verbally or nonverbally. • Conflict can occur only between people who depend on each other. • Conflict involves opposition and is more than just differences. § The perception that our concerns are at § odds with those of another The perception that we and another must reconcile our differences .

• Games are highly patterned interactions in which the real conflicts are hidden or denied.Principles of Conflict • Conflict is a natural process in all relationships. • Conflict may be overt or covert. § Overt conflict is out in the open and § explicit. • Passive aggressiveness is aggression that is denied or disguised by the aggressor. . Covert conflict is hidden and often unacknowledged.

§ It involves intense emotions that we may not know how to handle. § It can either promote continuing attachment or split a relationship apart. depending on how differences are managed .Principles of Conflict • Conflict may be managed well or poorly. . § Learning communication conflict skills can help us deal with differences.

Principles of Conflict • Conflict may be good for individuals and relationships.  . § It expands partners’ views of each other. § It allows us to consider other points of views. § It can support our own identity by clarifying how we differ from others.

Chinese Character for Crisis Danger Opportunity .

Approaches to Conflict Win/Lose Lose/Win Lose/Lose Win/Win One party gets satisfaction The other party gets satisfaction Neither party gets satisfaction Both parties feel satisfied .

• The neglect response occurs when an individual denies or minimizes problems. tension. constructive strategy for dealing with conflict by talking about problems and trying to resolve them. • The loyalty response is staying committed to a relationship despite differences. . disagreements.Responses to Conflict • The exit response involves leaving a relationship either by physically walking out or by psychologically withdrawing. anger. • The voice response is an active.

Responses to Relational Distress Active Destructive Exit Voice Constructive Neglect Loyality Passive .

S. • Many Hispanic cultures perceive conflict as an opportunity to be expressive and dramatic. • In the U. • In most Asian countries conflict is condemned and a solution should be found that benefits everyone and .Social Influences on Conflict Culture • The majority of Mediterranean cultures regard conflict as a normal and valuable part of everyday life. the emphasis on individuality makes conflict competitive.

Social Influences on Conflict Gender • Women § Enact loyalty and § § § voice Are taught to put a priority on a relationship Use talk to create and sustain closeness Tend to defer and compromise • Men § Respond with § § § exit/neglect Place less emphasis on talk Minimize problems May use coercive tactics and force their resolutions .

§ Negative climates tend to build on themselves.Unproductive Conflict Patterns • Early stages § The foundation for destructive conflict is established by communication that fails to confirm individuals.  . § Cross-complaining occurs when one person’s complaint is met by a counter-complaint.

it is stoked by other unconstructive communication. § Marked by frequent interruptions that disrupt the flow of talk . • Focusing on specific issues resolves conflicts constructively.Unproductive Conflict Patterns • Middle stages § Once a negative climate has been set. § Kitchensinking occurs when everything except the kitchen sink is thrown into the argument.

§ Unproductive conflict doesn’t involve dual perspective and it seals off awareness of common grounds. . dogmatism and are self perpetuating. • Each person’s proposals are met with • The communication patterns are discussed and never return to the issues.Unproductive Conflict Patterns • Later stages § Solutions become the focus counterproposals. § Excessive metacommunication § Communication that makes up unproductive conflict reflect egocentrism.

Constructive Communication •Validation of each other •Sensitive listening •Dual perspective •Recognize other’s concerns Unproductive Communication •Disconfirmation of each other •Poor listening •Preoccupation with self •Cross-complaining •Seek clarification •Hostile mind reading .

Constructive Communication •Infrequent interruptions •Focus on specific issues •Compromises and contracts •Useful metacommunication •Summarizing the concerns for both partners Unproductive Communication •Frequent interruptions •Everything is thrown in •Counterproposals •Excessive metacommunication •Selfsummarizi ng .

• Aim for win-win conflict. § § § Both people should be psychologically present and not rushed. Use bracketing to keep the discussion focused. • Show grace when appropriate.Guidelines for Effective Communication During Conflict • Focus on the overall communication system. § Grant forgiveness or put aside our own needs when there is no standard that says we should. your partner and the relationship. . • Honor yourself. Be flexible. • Time conflict effectively.

the relationship! .The Relationship You The Other Person Honor yourself. the other.

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