Interpersonal Relationships (Understanding Inter. Rel. (Conflict:…
Understanding Inter. Rel.
Conflict: expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce rewards and interference
Expressed struggle: Both parties know a disagreement exists
Interdependence: Welfare/satis. of one depend on the actions of another
Perceived incomp. goals: Conflicts often look as if one party's gain is another's loss
Perceived scarce resources: People often believe there isn't enough of the desired resource to go around
Comm. Climate: emotional tone of a relationship as it is expressed in the messages that the partners send and receive
Confirming messages: actions and words that express respect and show that we value the other person
Acknowledge the person's thoughts and feelings
Show that you agree
Disconfirming messages: actions and words that express a lack of caring or respect for another person
Partners criticize each other
Criticize: a message that is personal, all-encompassing, and accusatory
Partners show contempt
Contempt: verbal/nonverbal messages that ridicule or belittle the other person
Partners are defensive
Defensiveness: protecting oneself by counterattacking the other person
One/both partners engage in stonewalling
Stonewalling: refusing to engage with other person
How Comm. Climates Develop
Relational spiral: reciprocal comm. pattern in which each person's message reinforces the other's
Escalatory spirals: reciprocal pattern of comm. in which messages, either confirming or disconfirming, between two or more comms. reinforce one another
Avoidance spiral: comm. spiral in which parties slowly reduce dependence on one another, withdraw, and become less invested in relationship
Approaches to Conflict
Styles of Expressing Conf.
Nonassertion: inability or unwillingness to express one's thoughts or feelings
Obvious drawbacks, but there are pros
Indirect Comm: hinting at a message instead of expressing thoughts/feelings directly
Test the waters
Softening the blow
Goal is to get what you want without raising hostility of other person
Passive aggression: indirect expression of aggression, delivered in a way that allows the sender to maintain a facade of kindness
Pseudoaccomadators pretend to agree
Guiltmakers try to make you feel bad
Jokers use humor as a weapon
Trivial tyrannizers do small things to make you crazy
Withholders keep back something valuable
Direct aggression: message that attacks position and perhaps dignity of receiver
"That was a stupid thing to do."
What's the matter with you?"
"You don't know what you're talking about."
Assertion: style of communicating that directly expresses sender's needs, thoughts, or feelings, delivered in a way that does not attack receiver
Describe behavior in question
Share interpretation of other person's behavior
Gender and Conflict Style
Boys tend to gravitate towards groups, girls tend to gravitate towards 1 on 1
Origins of gender diff
Women face double standard
Men rewarded for being competitive and assertive, but this can backfire
Cultural Influences on Conf.
Low-context = direct and literal
High-context = self-restrained and avoiding confrontation
Delay: Asynchronous channels = no obligation to respond
Disinhibition: No face2face = more potential for aggressive responses
Permanence: There is a "transcript" that exists
Managing Inter. Conf.
Methods for Conf. Res.
Win-Lose: approach to conflict where one party reaches a goal at the expense of the other
Lose-Lose: neither party achieves their goals
Compromise: both parties attain at least part of what they wanted by giving something up
Win-Win: parties work together to satisfy all goals
Explore unmet needs
Make a date
Describe problem and needs
Check partner's understanding
Solicit partner's needs
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