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Communication and Conflict

Conflict has different causes.

Content conflict centers on objects, events, people in the world that are external to the parties involved. For example what movie to go to, who should have won elections, or whether Angelina Jolie will ever marry Brad Pitt.

Relational conflict is concerned with the relationships between individuals with such issues as who is in charge, equality of marital relationships, who has the right to set down rules of behavior.

Pseudo conflict is not really conflict but looks like it is. It occurs when a person believes two goals cannot be simultaneously achieved when they can or when there is a misunderstanding. For example, you might agree to clean up the apartment before going to play pool, put on your shoes and walk out. Your roommate may yell out the window at you and not even realize you just took out the trash.

Values conflict occurs when two people have two different views of basic goals in life or different fundamental beliefs about values. Think of the many instances where a Democrat married a Republican or where one person in a relationship is religious and the other is not. Often you just have to accept that you're never going to change the other's mind and agree to disagree.

Ego conflict is often damaging to relationships. This occurs when one person views winning the argument as indicator of their intellectual worth, value of self, etc. It may start as a content conflict (over a movie perhaps) and get evaluative. For example, if you see yourself as a music expert, an argument over music is an attack on your self esteem.

Please help with the following:
- Can you think of an example of each type of conflict?
- How does communication climate play in a role in conflict?

Solution Preview

You asked for 2 responses:

a) Content conflict: Whether the West Bank should belong to Israel or Palestine.
b) Relational conflict: Whether or not a husband should make more money than his wife.
c) Pseudo conflict: Whether a woman can be a doctor and a mother. (She can actually be both but thinks there is a ...

Solution Summary

The communication and conflict different causes are provided. The relationships between individuals with such issues as who is in charge of a marital relationship is given.