Dark Side of Conflict - Gordon State College

Looking ahead…..
 Group
proposal form due March
24th/March 25th
 Next week – 2 application exercises (30
pts each)
AE#11 – Conflicts and Relationships
AE #12 – Relationships Handout
Both already posted on faculty webpage
30 pts; pay special attention to spelling and
Recap of
Chapter 8
Reviewing Self-Disclosure
True/False: Self-Disclosure must involve
intentionality, choice, private information, and risk
Which is more personal/private? History or Story
True/False: Self-Disclosure is an objective process
How does reciprocity factor into self-disclosure?
What are some reasons individuals choose to selfdisclose?
What are some reasons individuals decide NOT to
What does the Social Penetration Model/Theory say
about personal information and self-disclosure?
Chapter 9 Recap/Lecture
True or False?
 Conflict
is avoidable
 Conflict can be productive
Interpersonal Conflict
 “The
interaction of interdependent
people who perceive incompatible goals
and interference from each other in
achieving those goals” (p. 180)
Elements of Interpersonal
Some relationship; need for each other
Created/sustained through communication
….of incompatible goals
Also consider selective perceptions (in
Conflict as Goal Oriented
Incompatible goals
Types of Conflict
Image Conflicts
Content (Substantive) Conflicts
Issues about a relationship
Serial Conflicts
Addresses a question of right or wrong
Relational Conflicts
Public vs. Private
Revolves around an issue
Value Conflicts
Disagreement about self definition/image
Focuses on time frame; not subject (unlike other 4 types)
Recur over time; no resolution
Serial Conflicts  Meta-Conflicts
Communication Patterns
 Symmetrical
 Symmetrical Withdrawal
 Pursuit-Withdrawal vs. Withdrawal-Pursuit
 Symmetrical Negotiation
 Which of the patterns are positive?
The Four-Part Model
Interdependence of Four Parts;
happen simultaneously
You and Me: Participants
Context: Emotional
Subject: Topic of the argument
Ignoring any part; unhealthy
Placating (no “me”)
Pouncing (no “you”)
Computing (no “context”)
Distracting (no “subject”)
The Explanatory
Process Model
 Conflict
occurs in
 Distal Context
 Proximal Context
 Conflict Interaction
 Proximal Outcomes
 Distal Outcomes
Application Exercise #9 (10 pts)
Create a short skit about interpersonal conflict based on the
type of conflict you are assigned
Your skit should walk us through the conflict and ways to
mediate the conflict—based on what was learned through
the chapter
Use an example of a communication pattern
After each skit, groups will have to walk us through how the skit
served as a real life example of interpersonal conflict
 Using the Four Part Model or the Explanatory Model
Cannot pull an example from the book; be creative!!!
Application Exercise #10 (10
Watch two of the clips provided
Respond to the following (for each clip):
Type of Conflict? Explain your answer.
Explain the Context; must focus on one of the four
specific types
How was verbal and nonverbal communication used
during the conflict? (e.g. to it add to the conflict, help
mediate, share emotions, help with expression?)
How was the conflict resolved OR how could it have
been resolved?
We will watch videos and discuss in class.
Format: Numbered responses for each of the 2 clips,
Due Wednesday/Thursday
Clips for AE#10
 Oceans
 Freaky
eDR30 (Starts round the 0:30 mark)
 Sex
and the City
 Martin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j4eziAhPPo (Beginning to 1:20)
 Girlfriends
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVnDrV2a4Ao (Around the 4:20 mark)
Dark Side vs. Bright Side
Dark Side of Conflict
 Bullying
Bright Side of Conflict
 Violence
Managing conflict  part of
being a competent
Productive conflict
management  promotes
physical and mental health
Expressing feelings; learning
those of others
Relationship maintenance
Increasing confidence
Increasing depth
Improves decision making
Myths about Conflict
 All
conflict is a result of miscommunication
 Good communication resolves ALL
 Talking about conflict is always the best
 Additional:
All conflict is negative
Conflict is avoidable
Role of Gender, Sex, and
 Gender
and Sex
Relational life vs. Public life
Collaborative vs. Competitive
 Culture
How we behave in conflict
What we have conflict about
Power and Conflict
How do the two relate?
Power = ‘ability to control behavior of others’
Use of Power
 Direct application of power (e.g. spanking)
 Direct and virtual use of power (e.g. threatening to spank)
 Indirect application of power (e.g. “I’d like to see that room
clean asap”)
Relational messages (e.g. “I’m your mother”)
Hidden Power (e.g. Turning down date; mom won’t approve)
Power is relational
Most consider responses to power
Sex differences?
Example – Desperate Housewives
How was power used?
Conflict Management
 Staying
calm (lightening up)
Stay in the present
Acknowledge other’s comments
Provide nonverbal and verbal feedback
 Presume/express
goodwill; don’t expect the worst
 Ask
 Listen
Consider active listening
 Practice
cultural sensitivity
App. Exercise #11
(30 pts); 3/24-25
Think about one of your interpersonal relationships
How do you label the relationship—what type?
 Tell me about the relational culture (e.g. unique
communication patterns, part of relational history or
Reflect back on a conflict within your relationship
What type? Explain classification; don’t have to go into
detail about actual conflict 
 How did the relationship impact the conflict? For
example—would this have played out differently if you
were conversing with a stranger?
 Revisit the explanatory process model; how did the
proximal and distal outcomes impact the relationship? If
there was no impact—explain why you think this is the
Respond to these questions in a 1-1.5 page, typed
paper; will add to this in class
Application Exercise #12 (30 pts)
Due 3/26-27
 Complete
the handout on my faculty
webpage (in chart of Application
 Type; Number answers
 Will discuss in class

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