What is conflict - types, types and causes of conflicts, also 6 ways to resolve them

1 1075 July 3, 2021 at 1:39 pm Author of the publication: Ksenia Adamova, social teacher Editor: Tamara Tkachenko

Weekend evening. At one of the stops, a nimble old woman from the category of active summer residents runs onto the bus and sits down behind me. Let's move on. The smooth swaying of the bus springs, the flickering of the summer city landscape in the window, involuntarily immerses you in the calm flow of your own thoughts. A conductor walks through the cabin, treating passengers. The usual procedure, there is no reason for conflicts.

— Certificate of a disabled person of the second group! — I hear the peremptory tone of the granny-dacha owner.

“Okay, please show me a spread with your photo,” the conductor asks.

- I told you, a disabled person of the second group! — the passenger’s dissatisfaction is growing in her voice.

“Please show me a double page of your ID with your photo,” the conductor repeats the request.

- LOOK, SU...!!!! - Granny explodes with aggression. - WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU, YOU'RE READY TO TURN YOUR GUTS INSIDE OUT! YOU CAN'T WORK WITH PEOPLE! - spat out from the headdress addressed to the conductor.

At one point, my inner comfort changes with an impulsive desire to run out of the bus, the first reaction of feeling the lethality of the aggressive message from my grandmother is so unbearable.

The hardest thing is swearing, shouted as if from the very insides of a woman. Every swear word hits the back of my head like a butt. I want to bend down, close my ears, pull my head into my shoulders and run away. A second later, the desire to escape changes into an explosion of indignation and thoughts of doing anything just to shut the conflicting aunt’s mouth.

A systematic understanding of such behavior smoothly reduces my nascent aggression to zero.

I quickly restored my inner balance, although I felt the full weight of the destructive conflict, being simply an involuntary witness to an unpleasant situation.

What it is?

The word comes from the Latin "conflictus", meaning "collided". The most common synonyms for the word “conflict” include:

  1. argument;
  2. disagreement;
  3. collision;
  4. duel;
  5. confrontation;
  6. battle.

To fully understand, it is first necessary to define this social phenomenon.

So, conflict is a way of resolving contradictions that arise due to inconsistency of judgments, goals, interests, conclusions, conclusions, opinions or views on certain aspects.

This process is characterized by three main features:

  1. The essence is the confrontation between two or more subjects.
  2. It is accompanied by the release of negative emotions on the part of the participants, as well as actions that may go far beyond the generally accepted rules and norms of behavior.

  3. It arises exclusively in the process of social interaction of participants with each other.

Option 3

(425 words) Why do people fight with each other? There are many reasons. Interpersonal conflicts, as a rule, are based on minor everyday issues, but social clashes throughout society occur due to ideological differences. Examples of both types can be found in fiction.

Thus, a domestic conflict “over trifles” was described by A.S. Pushkin in the novel “Dubrovsky”. Two friends lived next door, but had different incomes. The owner of Kistenovka was poor by the standards of the nobles, and the owner of Pokrovsky was rich. But both heroes were proud and stubborn, which, however, did not prevent them from being friends for many years. Yet even this friendship came to an end when one neighbor took great offense at the other. Once Dubrovsky was visiting Troekurov and noted that his dogs lived better than serfs. The rich man's servant decided to curry favor and retorted that some landowners might consider it an honor to live in such conditions. The guest flared up and left, because the owner did not fulfill his demand to punish the huntsman. Thus began a long-running quarrel: one neighbor harmed another, until Troekurov bribed officials and took away his friend’s estate. Dubrovsky died of nervous shock. The reason for his conflict with Troekurov was a clash of temperaments: one nobleman considered it dishonorable to give in to the other and end the meaningless bickering. Pride gave rise to resentment and a thirst for revenge. Such phenomena often spoil family and friendly relationships.

Completely different reasons give rise to conflict between society and the individual. For example, A.S. Griboedov, in his play “Woe from Wit,” depicted the clash of the “present century” and the “past century.” The main character received a fundamental education in Europe and was in a hurry to share his discoveries and results with his compatriots. But Famus society was conservative-minded and did not have a high level of intelligence or broad outlook. The Moscow nobles dreamed of burning all their books and living in the old way - parasitizing on the serfs and obtaining profitable positions with the help of flattery, hypocrisy and “connections”. They were not interested in changes, because they already lived well, not seeing problems and not knowing about their existence. Alexander was honest and principled, progressive and smart. His speeches were full of condemnation of the existing order. He wanted to prove he was right and help the country develop. However, all his attempts turned into a scandal: Chatsky was unanimously declared crazy and forced to leave Famusov’s ball. The cause of the conflict in this case is ideological differences. Alexander wanted change, but those around him did not.

Thus, people are at enmity with each other for various reasons. Small everyday occasions, clashes of characters, pride and prejudice - all this provokes clashes between household members, friends, and colleagues. But a society or country goes into conflict because of a difference in worldviews and attitudes. As a rule, a large-scale clash entails dire consequences, so humanity needs to learn to find the truth in disputes, and not a reason for war.

What types and types of conflicts exist

Depending on the method of resolution, conflicts are divided into:

  1. Compromise. Resolution of conflict situations in this case is carried out by searching for the most suitable compromise for both parties. In this case, one or both parties must benefit from the situation in the form of compensation for moral harm/material damage. Example: for failure to meet the agreed deadlines for delivery of products, the supplier undertakes to reduce prices for its services;
  2. Antagonistic. The confrontation is resolved by destroying the structural structures (verbal, behavioral, emotional) of the participant who lost the confrontation. The second option is the party’s refusal to further participate in the fight. Example: winning an election race.

Types of conflicts differ in the area in which they manifest themselves, degree of expression, direction, number of parties, and needs. But first things first.


The structure of all conflict situations includes:

  1. A subject (object) that provokes the development of a dispute. This can be either a thing or a person, thoughts, ideas in which the participants in the conflict are interested.
  2. Subjects of the situation. They can be groups, organizations, individuals.
  3. The conditions under which the conflict occurs. For example: work environment, family disputes, and so on.
  4. The scale of the situation: global, interpersonal, regional, localized.
  5. Behavioral characteristics and tactics of the conflicting parties.
  6. The result is an understanding of the result of the conflict, its consequences.

Scope of conflict situations

The most common types of conflicts based on the nature of their manifestation include:

  1. organized (a hierarchical structure is provided, the responsibilities and rights of the parties are clearly regulated);
  2. economic (based on contradictions of an economic nature, the struggle for resources, discounts, rights, benefits);
  3. social conflict (confrontation between individual subjects, groups or communities of people, taking into account the preliminary strengthening of their interests regarding the dispute);
  4. political (characterized by the use of appropriate tools of struggle, which presupposes victory in the political sphere).

Family as one of the small groups where conflict situations periodically occur

Family conflicts are among the most common. According to statistics, almost every family member has to deal with misunderstanding from one of their close relatives. The reasons for the development of conflicts in this group of individuals are:

  • Strong differences in character and temperament both among spouses and among children and relatives.
  • Everyday problems. In most cases, a conflict situation arises among couples precisely because of a lack of funds.
  • Unjustified expectations. The clash arises due to unjustified hopes placed on the marriage by one of the spouses.
  • Dissatisfaction with sex life.
  • Treason. Due to dissatisfaction with sex, often one of the spouses (less often both) begins to look for warmth and affection on the side. The result is the development of a conflict situation leading to a rupture. However, some try to add “spiciness” to relationships, thereby saving them.
  • Lack of personal space. Most couples constantly spend time together without having the opportunity to be alone, which leads to the “conquest” of certain areas of the house.
  • Jealousy, heightened sense of ownership. Some types of people tend to overprotect their partner, limiting their communication with the opposite sex, while constantly suspecting their spouse of non-existent infidelity. An example of a conflict, the development of which is due to jealousy: one of the spouses constantly read the personal correspondence of his partner, but when the latter saw this, a scandal broke out.
  • Abuse of alcohol and drugs by one of the partners, smoking.
  • Different views on the educational process. If there are children in the family, then conflict can often arise due to dissatisfaction of one of the parents with the other about their upbringing.

Types of conflicts by severity

  1. Hidden collisions. Occurs when a demonstration of aggression and any similar actions are hidden from the public and those involved in the confrontation. The conflict is indirect.
  2. Open clashes. The struggle is clearly expressed and can be observed and assessed. Example: controversy, controversy, discord, quarrel, scandal, showdown with insults.

The main “symptoms” of the development of a conflict situation in the family

The first signs of conflict often remain hidden until the peak moment. How do you understand that it is necessary to make any efforts to prevent a conflict situation?

No confrontation arises without reason. The concept of conflict implies the presence of certain prerequisites: frequent disputes, misunderstanding, silence and inability to properly build a dialogue. Example: a spouse returned from work upset and in need of support. And his wife, in turn, thought that he was tired and did not “bother” him with conversations, although now he simply needed dialogue with her. Gradually, omissions are layered on top of each other, and an invisible gap arises between the partners, and later signs of conflict appear:

  • Tension in communication.
  • A sharp reaction to any irritant.
  • Attempts to call a partner to talk end with him withdrawing into himself.
  • Detachment from what is happening around.

As a result, due to issues not resolved in a timely manner, a conflict situation arises in the family, for the successful resolution of which both parties must make every effort.

Types of conflict orientation

  1. Horizontal conflict. Disagreements arise between parties who are equal in status: social, professional, material, etc. A prerequisite is that subjects are endowed with an equal amount of power.
  2. Vertical conflict is typical for parties that have differences in status. Example: a quarrel between a subordinate and a manager, employees of a subsidiary and parent enterprise.

The impact of conflict on a person

Exactly how a particular conflict situation affects an individual depends on several factors:

  • The set goal and desired result.
  • The significance of the conflict for both participants.
  • A variant of behavior chosen by a participant in a conflict of interests.

Each of the above factors is strongly linked to the next, and only their combination can show how the problem of conflict affects an individual. For example, a person has set a task (goal) for himself, the implementation of which is especially important for him, while his opponent is absolutely indifferent to this goal. As a result, with the dominant behavior chosen by the opponent, the person will not be able to achieve what he wants, acutely experiencing his failure.

Number of conflicting parties

  1. Intergroup. A confrontation between two groups, each of which includes participants in the conflict, united by some characteristic/signs.
  2. Interpersonal. A clash of interests between two entities or between a group of people and one entity.
  3. Intrapersonal. Confrontation of internal values ​​and motives at the personal level. There are no parties, there is only one subject who is faced with the problem of choice regarding making this or that decision.

Healthy conflict is a reason for development

The cause of healthy conflict is a clash of interests between two partners. Since relationships are dynamic, sooner or later a moment comes when one of them or both at once is no longer satisfied with the existing level of relations. As a result, complaints and discontent arise.

For healthy relationships, conflict is a signal that they are moving to a new level and it’s time to change something.

For example, from the beginning of family life, the wife raised a child and was a housewife. After some time, she realized that she wanted more, she wanted self-realization. She goes to work or goes to study.

Naturally, over the years, an established way of life loses its former structure. Now the wife is often busy in the evenings, and her husband does not have a delicious dinner at home every evening. This is the ideal reason for conflict.

There are two possible scenarios here.

Ideally, spouses discuss the situation. They openly talk to each other about their fears and dissatisfaction and together look for a solution that suits both of them.

For example, a wife can learn to prepare dinner in advance. Or hires an assistant. Or the husband can sometimes cook dinner himself. Ways to resolve the issue may be different.

Unfortunately, not everyone succeeds in reaching such an outcome of the conflict.

What prevents people from calmly and constructively discussing changes in relationships? Here we move on to a discussion of the neurotic causes of conflict.

Causes of conflicts

The specific nature of the emergence of conflicts may be based on all sorts of reasons. The most characteristic ones include:

  1. discrepancy between reality and personal concepts, ideas about something;
  2. untimely receipt of information, its inaccuracy and discrepancy with reality;
  3. logical errors, understatement, misunderstanding, misunderstandings in the communication process;
  4. inconsistencies between people’s words and actions, unjustified expectations. Example: a man assumed that his friend would come to the meeting on time, as promised, but this did not happen;
  5. social inequality of people;
  6. the opposition of values, interests, concepts, aspirations and perceptions of the surrounding reality.

Common opinions about conflicts. And nothing has changed

There is an opinion that conflicts between people are inevitable and there is no escape from this “karma”. All that remains is to learn the skills and techniques of conducting “close combat” with other people. Conflict psychology is looking for answers to questions about how to behave correctly in the face of inevitable conflicts between people, studying what kind of conflicts there are in social groups, what are the causes of conflicts between people.

In the classification of conflicts, separate types are distinguished:

  • ideological conflicts,
  • social and domestic conflicts,
  • interpersonal conflicts,
  • destructive conflicts,
  • constructive conflicts.

Numerous rules and recommendations are given on how to respond to one type of conflict or another; in psychology they are trying to develop tactics and strategies for resolving conflict.

The common denominator is the same starting postulate of the psychology of conflicts: a clash of opposing interests between people is inevitable. And as a result, negative, painful experiences caused by a conflict situation are inevitable.

The concept of the causes of conflicts in psychology is explained by contradictions in the opinions of the opposing parties. Quote from Internet sources: “Conflict is an inevitable component of relationships...”.

Active calls by psychologists to use various tactics in conflict situations lead to the false belief that conflict situations in relationships with other people are the norm.

Talking about the constructive functions of conflict situations makes things even more confusing. Allegedly, the form of “civilized conflict” is a motive for achieving goals, for moving to another level of beneficial communications, excluding the destructive development of the conflict.

And in life, conflict is always unpleasant, offensive, painful and annoying. Nobody consciously wants to be participants in a conflict. Every person wants to receive positive emotions from communicating with other people.

What to do with the desire to enjoy interaction with other people and the supposed impossibility of getting it? Should you reconcile or use tactical methods of combat with your opponent, defending the right to be heard? Is it possible to constructively and happily communicate with other people without the concept of “conflict”?

Any question about conflicts is fundamentally a search for answers about the reasons for this or that behavior. If a person is prone to conflict behavior, there must be a reason for this.

At the System-Vector Psychology training by Yuri Burlan, you receive unmistakable knowledge of the true causes of conflicts between people.

“Why are you as angry as a dog?”

From the moment of birth, each person is endowed with unique mental properties, which are manifested in life values, priorities, aspirations and desires, shape a person’s behavior and the forms of his relationships with others.

The basic need of every person is the desire to receive pleasure and joy through the realization of their natural aspirations and desires.

We unconsciously strive to fulfill and satisfy our desires, to achieve what we want. When it is impossible to get what you want, tension grows inside a person. The stronger the desire and the longer the lack of its fulfillment, the stronger the tension and irritation.

I want and do not receive, I desire and do not have. The person begins to experience dissatisfaction and tension. When a desire is not fulfilled for a long time, a person’s behavior is directed not at finding ways to realize what he wants, but at relieving internal discomfort and tension.

Reaching the peak of tension and irritation, the human psyche strives to regain a comfortable, balanced state, dumping negativity outward on other people. Expressing dislike for other people brings some relief. I yelled at a restless child, reinforcing my dissatisfaction with a slap on the head, I “didn’t allow myself to be offended” in the queue at an ATM to a rogue who was getting ahead of my dad, I swore at the conductor on the bus for showing distrust - phew, it became a little easier! And so on until the next voltage peak.

Sometimes the degree of tension is so high that the clash is not limited to verbal conflict. A person with certain mental properties (in the presence of chronic dissatisfaction in the desires of the anal vector) has a tendency to aggression and causing physical harm to an opponent. This behavior brings a feeling of temporary relief, perpetuating the conflict scenario of relationships. A bonus to scandalous, aggressive behavior is loneliness and anger towards the whole world.

And I really want to feel happy, receiving joy and pleasure from life!

What to do? How to get rid of the scenario of living life in conflicts, quarrels and misunderstandings? The only answer is to realize the nature of your desires and the desires of other people! This is fully possible at the training “System-vector psychology” by Yuri Burlan.

Everyone has their own “I want”

Interpersonal conflicts, or more simply put, quarrels between people, always proceed violently, at the peak of emotions, often involving and traumatizing third parties. A quarrel never ends in a positive compromise. After the quarrel, the participants in the scandal are still shaken for some time from the negative emotions they have experienced. Inside each opponent, indignation boils, seethes and bubbles towards the other: “How can he not understand me (my desires)?”

When we find ourselves in a conflict situation, the thought that others have their own desires, different from ours, dictated by different natural characteristics, does not occur to us.

Let us give a simple, real-life example of a quarrel arising in a family.

An energetic, active wife requires her leisurely, thorough husband to do several things quickly. She is annoyed with her husband for his sluggishness and slowness. The man tries to justify his wife’s demands to be more mobile, but he slows down even more, falls into a stupor, and becomes offended in response to his wife’s constant tugging. The orderly rhythm of his thoughts is disrupted, he experiences stress from the inability to efficiently complete a hundred things at the same time. The tension between both increases and turns into a quarrel with mutual accusations “why don’t you understand me?”

If we consider this example through the prism of System-Vector Psychology by Yuri Burlan, then the reasons for the conflict between spouses are clear and explainable.

The active, efficient wife is the owner of the skin vector. People with the skin vector are naturally endowed with an agile psyche. Organization, discipline and self-discipline are features of the psyche of owners of the skin vector. They not only know how to discipline themselves, but also demand that others obey laws and rules.

The main natural feature of the skin vector is the desire to save money. A person with a skin vector saves energy, time, information, space. The ability to solve several problems at the same time, manage to get to many places, and quickly switch attention from one issue to another is a manifestation of the desire to save money.

Wanting to realize the natural desire to save and having innate properties for this, a person with the skin vector often expects the same from other people. He will be irritated by the manifestation of slowness in others (what a lot of time wasted!) - verbally this is expressed in endless hasting and pulling back on those around him.

How does a person feel when he hears accusations of being “slow” and sluggish? Most often offended. Because the owner of the anal vector is not a slowdown by nature! He is as ordered as possible - in thoughts and actions. Owners of the anal vector are by nature leisurely and thorough. They are perfectionists and professionals in their field, responsible and efficient. The family has the best husbands and wives, attentive and caring.

The psyche of such a person is fundamentally different in its characteristics from the psyche of a person with a skin vector.

The psyche of the owner of the anal vector is rigid and inflexible. The owner of the anal vector does not have the natural ability to quickly switch attention from one task to another. A person with an anal vector has different natural desires (and therefore abilities). One of them is the desire to be an excellent performer of your job, a respected professional. And to obtain a high-quality result (so as not to be ashamed to look people in the eye), haste is unacceptable.

A person with an anal vector needs approval and recognition of his merits. In childhood, the desire to be approved by the mother is expressed in obedience and complaisance. In adult life, such a person, wanting to experience a feeling of approval from the outside, strives to justify the demands of people significant to him. For example, spouses with a skin vector. Trying with all his might to become fast, flexible and maneuverable, to catch up and overtake his rivals, a person with the anal vector, not having the properties given by nature for such manifestations, experiences stress, falls into a stupor and cannot move from a dead point. In this situation, he suffers from the inability to meet the expectations of the woman he loves and is offended in response to her claims.

Misunderstanding of the differences in each other's innate natural characteristics leads to quarrels and scandals.

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