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Interpersonal Conflicts and Their Solutions

Conflicts or interpersonal conflicts are the perceived and/or actual incompatibility of values, expectations, processes, or outcomes between two or even more entities over an important and/or relational matter(s). [Oetzel & Ting-Toomey (2003)] This paper will seek to utilize several pieces of empirical evidence as described in various research studies that discusses various theories of solving interpersonal conflicts. In order to fully achieve its objectives, the paper will base those theories, findings and solutions on two examples of ‘real life’ interpersonal conflicts.

The whole thing will boil down to a comprehensive conflict management strategy that will help the protagonist (lender of the dress pants and the son to the phone-bullying mother) to hurl himself out of the interpersonal-conflict-hole that he currently resides in. • Oetzel, J. G. , & Ting-Toomey, S. (2003). Face Concerns in Interpersonal Conflict: a Cross-Cultural Empirical Test of the Face Negotiation Theory. Communication Research, 30; 599: This research study puts to test the face-negotiation theory’s perceived notion that face is a key cultural factor in determining conflict among behavior individuals.

In a nutshell, face-negotiation theory offers an ‘organizing and explanatory’ framework for conflict behaviors and it is a culmination of traits such as personality and states such as situation. Individualistic persons view themselves as autonomous of collectives and thus award priority to their personal goals at the expense of others, collectivists, on the other hand perceive, themselves to be part and parcel of a group and therefore are always ready to give priority to the goals of these groups at the expense of theirs.

The self-face or concern for one’s own image, other-face or concern for another’s image, and mutual-face or the concern of the image of the relationship determines how an individual will handle a conflict. The study’s findings and conclusions indicate that face is an important factor in the face-negotiation theory: face concerns impact conflict styles. Relationship with the Two Interpersonal Conflicts

In regards to the two examples of real interpersonal conflicts described above, this study’s hypothesis is the exact version of the factors that leads to the two interpersonal conflicts facing the writer to this paper: it is the individualistic and self-face factors that makes the ‘close friend’ to insist on being given dress pants for the weekly chapter meetings by his colleague, when the colleague has only one pair of dress pants, and they both are attending the same function whereby they are expected to be in the dress pants.

Again, the ‘mother’ to the protagonist is an ‘individualist’ and ‘self-faced’ she is thick to understand that his son fails to pick up her phone not because he likes to but because he is busy. The writer to this paper found the article too reliable, a source for learning more about the philosophy of interpersonal conflicts and the best ways to approach (solve) them. • Karremans, J. C. et al, (2003). When Forgiving Enhances Psychological Well-being: the Role of Interpersonal Commitment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol.

84, No. 5, 1011-1056: This article acknowledges the importance of interpersonal relationships, however, it quickly points out that they can be a source of interpersonal conflicts. To this end, the authors hypothesize that forgiving is a sure way of promoting psychological wellbeing. Why forgiving is associated with psychological well-being? The study indicates that the absence of forgiving in an interpersonal relationship characterized by strong commitment leads to psychological tension and hence reduced levels of psychological well-being.

Failure to forgive others whom we feel strongly committed to, elicits reduced life satisfaction, negative self-image and high levels of negative affect. However, key interdependence features that underlies relationships between the person and the offender determines whether forgiving will take place or not. Based on the principles of the theory of interdependence and the magnitude of the interpersonal commitment i. e. , intent to persist, long-term orientation, and psychological attachment forgiving will take place, however, the opposite of this is very true i.

e. , when there is weak commitment one will not easily or completely not forgive an adversary. Relationship with the Two Interpersonal Conflicts The two interpersonal conflicts that the writer to this paper faces are re-occurring in nature, i. e. , a friend keeps on borrowing dress pants during weekly chapter meetings and a mother who has the knack of calling every day: they are therefore psychologically nagging or rather causing tension. It is therefore imperative that the writer solve them as soon as possible in order to regain psychological wellbeing.

Further the opponents to the writer are close people (i. e. , a college fraternity friend and own mother) and therefore they can be termed as strongly committed to the writer. This journal article offers a comprehensive literature on a solution package that revolves round forgiving. The literature described in the article will be invaluable to the writer and others who may be facing similar or close to the two interpersonal conflicts described above. • Van Kleef, G. A. , De Dreu, C. K. W. , & Manstead, A. S. R. (2006).

Supplication and Appeasement in Conflict and Negotiation: The Interpersonal Effects of Disappointment, Worry, Guilt, and Regret. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 91, No. 1, 124-142: One of the most common ways of resolving interpersonal conflicts is through negotiation, this research study found out. Negation involves a discussion between two or more parties aimed at resolving a perceived divergence of interests. However, during such negotiations emotions may creep in, therefore it is imperative that parties understand emotional impacts during such discussions.

They studied social effects of emotions related to supplication (e. g. , disappointment, worry) and appeasement (e. g. , guilt, regret) in negations. They found out that negotiators tend to concede more to angry opponents than happy ones. Guilt conscience and to some lesser degree regret tends to inform an opponent that he has taken too much and therefore he is prepared to cede some ground. Disappointment and worry on the other hand, inform the opponent that one has received too little than expected and hence one can compensate for it.

They found out that trust plays a key role during negotiations in that, negotiators tend to give in when the opponents experiences supplication emotion while they stand firm when opponent experiences appeasement emotions. Relationship with the Two Interpersonal Conflicts The writer to this paper has got a lot to learn from the discussions and implications part of this article’s findings, especially having in mind that the writer is a dilemma: not sure whether to face the two adversaries that lead to the conflicts experienced by the writer this paper.

The articles hypothesis offers an insight into the social effects of emotions in negotiating tables. The fact that the writer is faced by two interpersonal conflicts from very close people, i. e. , college mate and own mother both of which seems to be firm on their grounds and angry to the writer makes this article an invaluable source. The writer found this article very useful towards a solution to the two re-occurring interpersonal conflicts (i. e. , a close friend who keeps on borrowing dress pants and a mother who nags through her daily phone calls). It gives the writer an upper hand in the preparation for and during the negation time.

NB: the article proposes negotiation as the most common conflict resolution method that not only solves interpersonal conflicts but also conducts social and economic exchange. • General Discussions Based on the Three Journal Articles and Other Research Work on Interpersonal Conflicts: From the eyes of Karremans et al, social interactions have got many psychological benefits to human beings; similarly they can be sources of psychological tensions. For instance, on the one end, in a school setting friends can be very useful during class discussions, group activities, etc.

, while at home close friends can proof to be sources of encouragement and comfort particularly when one has work or school related psychological tensions, on the other end friends in school can lead to tensions especially if they encourage incompatible behaviors such as substance abuse while at home friends can misuse the notion that they are being caring to nag e. g. a brother who likes wearing your best pairs of shoes during weekends when you need to wear them. [Karremans et al, (2003)] This double edged nature of social relationships calls for sobriety and a great sense of diplomacy in order to balance the two outcomes.

Due to these inherent benefits, Van Kleef, De Dreu, & Manstead contends that, social relationships cannot be assumed, they need to be regulated through negotiation in order to put potential conflicts at bay and also to propagate their social and economic exchange. In their discussions they assert that there is need for show of strong interpersonal commitments in social relationships among parties, as this will lead to an easy resolution (through forgiving) to any conflicts that may arise. [Van Kleef et al (2006); 2004a, b)] However, if parties involved in a conflict maintain hard stances (hardliners) a solution will not be easily reached.

It is always advisable for parties to maintain a guilty position. Guilty is closely linked to reactions such as regret, self-reproach, repentance, and remorse and therefore it leads to reduce the damage caused by one’s conflicting character. [Smith et al (2002)] In what seems to be a multicultural approach to the rocky issue of interpersonal relationships and the conflict inherent in them, Oetzel & Ting-Toomey article, “Face Concerns in Interpersonal Conflict: a Cross-Cultural Empirical Test of the Face Negotiation Theory” offers a comprehensive lecture on the dynamics of interpersonal conflicts.

Their work gives a layman a complete package for approaching and solving social conflicts, for instance, their study comprises of tests on conflict behavior exhibited in four different cultural settings (i. e. , US, Japan, China, and Germany). This article differ from the other two in that, it uses a seemingly unique factor in interpersonal relationships: face. In face-negotiation theory, as described by the authors, two categories of people exist, ‘self-faced’ and ‘other-faced’. It is usually very difficult to negotiate with a self-faced person unlike when dealing with an, other-faced person.

[Oetzel & Ting-Toomey (2003)] Morris et al, hints that contentious behavior begets conflicts, they contends that, if a individual personality traits are supplemented with contentious behavior the results can be very costly in both conflict creation and conflict resolution. For instance, the perception that your opponent has a stubborn and volatile personality may make one not opt for formal conflict resolution methods such as using a third party judge. They also augmented their arguments with culture (using USA vs.

Hong Kong sample) as another factor that may determine the choice of formal resolution option. [Morris et al (2004)] Interestingly, it is easier to iron out a conflict with an older adult than it is with a younger adult. This is so because, older adults are likely to involve themselves in conflicts, they are more likely to enter into conflicts with spouses, they are less likely to enter into conflicts with their children, they experience, less stress, and were less likely enter into arguments and more likely to do nothing to conflicts than did young adults.

[Birditt et al (2005)] The reason is obvious, older adults have less imitating relationships, less demanding, and involve less criticism compared to those of young adults which a complete contrast. [Akiyima, Antonucci, et al (2003)] In their study, Cingoz-Ulu & Lalonde, found out that, overall romantic relationships put into use a more extensive conflict management strategies than did opposite opposite-sex friendships, with same-sex friendships showing neutral results relative to those of the two preceding relationships. Interestingly these strategies were subject to cultural factors.

Their findings indicated that Turks seemed to refrain from conflict, postponing conflicts and employing persuasive methods of conflict managements than did Canadians. On their part Canadians preferred to compromise, seek third party intervention, and give more priority to the other party in a conflict. [Cingoz-Ulu & Lalonde (2007)] Conclusions A general overview of the two conflicts that the writer to this article faces indicates that they are both psychologically stressful. However, the objective of this paper was to conduct a comprehensive research on articles that discusses interpersonal conflicts and the methods of solving them.

The literature discussed here is very useful for anyone in an interpersonal conflict. A fair stance is that, intrapersonal conflicts are sometimes a blessing to a person, particularly if one succeeds in solving them. This is because they give one an opportunity to revisit the inner-self trying to come up with a workable solution, in so doing one gets to understand his or her inner-self (inherent character). Again, interpersonal conflicts enables one to understand better the characters other people through negotiating with them and therefore help in enhancing goods social characters. References: • Akiyima, H. , Antonucci, T. C.

, Takahashi, K. , & Langfahl, E. S. (2003). Negative interactions in close relationships across the life span. Journals of Gerontology, Series B; Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58 Pp. 70-79, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Birditt, K. S. , Fingerman, K. L. , & Almeida, D. M. (2005). Age Difference in Exposure and Reactions to Interpersonal Tensions: A Daily Diary Study, Psychology of Aging, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 330-340, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Cingoz-Ulu, B. , & Lalonde, R. N. (2007). The role of culture and relational context in interpersonal conflict: Do Turks and Canadians use different conflict management strategies?

International Journal of Intercultural relations, Vol. 31, No. , pp. , 443-458, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Karremans, J. C. , Van Lange, J. W. , & Ouwerkerk, J. W. (2003). When Forgiving Enhances Psychological Well-being: the Role of Interpersonal Commitment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 84, No. 5, 1011-1056, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Morris, M. W. , Leung, K. , & Iyengar, S. S. , (2004). Person perception in the heat of conflict: Negative trait attributions affect procedural preferences and account for situational and cultural differences.

Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 7, pp. 127-147, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Oetzel, J. G. , & Ting-Toomey, S. (2003). Face Concerns in Interpersonal Conflict: a Cross-Cultural Empirical Test of the Face Negotiation Theory. Communication Research, 30; 599, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Smith, R. H. Webster, J. M. , Parrott, W. G. , & Eyre, H. L. (2002). The role of public exposure in moral and non-moral shame and guilt. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 83, pp. 138-159, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Van Kleef, G. A. , De Dreu, C. K. W. , & Manstead, A. S. R. (2006).

Supplication and Appeasement in Conflict and Negotiation: The Interpersonal Effects of Disappointment, Worry, Guilt, and Regret. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 91, No. 1, 124-142, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Van Kleef, G. A. , De Dreu, C. K. W. , & Manstead, A. S. R. (2004a). The interpersonal effects of anger and happiness in Negotiations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 86, 57-76, accessed on April 13, 2009 • Van Kleef, G. A. , De Dreu, C. K. W. , & Manstead, A. S. R. (2004b). The interpersonal effects of emotions in Negotiation: A motivated information processing approach.

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