Conflicts are part of every person’s daily life.We live in societies made up of individuals with different interests.
Of course, that does not mean that the existence of these frictions has to evolve into heated arguments, fights or even battles or wars.
But it does imply that this factor is important enough for Social Psychology to have studied it in depth, because this topic is related to phenomena that are very directly related to people’s quality of life.
In this article we will see what are the most important types of conflicts, what are the effects they have on people’s quality of life.What are the effects they have on our lives.
- Recommended article: “The 10 types of violence (and their causes and consequences)”.
The 16 types of conflicts, and what they consist of.
Here we will see different ways to classify the types of conflicts that exist, starting from several criteria that allow to order them and include them in different categories. In each case we will see their harmful potential, and the characteristics that define them..
- We recommend: “The 7 types of gender violence, their definition and characteristics”.
1. Types of conflicts according to their degree of violence.
Based on this criterion, we can distinguish between these types of conflicts:
1.1. Conflicts through social channels.
In these conflicts, the interests of each party are defended through mechanisms that are part of the social order, and therefore there is no violence. For example, this is what happens in an auction in which different people compete for the same good.
1.2. Conflicts due to symbolic violence
In this type of conflict, at least one of the parties breaks the rules of coexistence by attacking the other symbolically. This implies a direct psychological toll on the attacked party, and sometimes also a toll on his or her social capital (for example, when a humiliation makes approaching the victim be seen in a bad light).
1.3. Conflicts due to physical constraint
Conflicts that develop in this way include an element of attack on the person’s integrity, either by causing pain or by limiting his or her range of motion. There is a debate as to whether the application of the law in its penal repercussions can be considered part of a conflict of this kind, given that it does not technically violate norms of coexistence.
1.4. Conflicts due to attempts on life
This is the most violent form of conflict, because it includes motivations to end the life of others. This is what occurs in wars or fights to the death.
2. According to its participants
If we look at who participates in the conflict, we can establish these categories.
2.1. Intergroup conflicts
This is the type of conflict that we can observe in sports competitions with teams or in battles and wars: there are at least two clearly defined groups that confront each other.
2.2. Intragroup conflicts
This is one of the most common types of conflict in groups in the work or political context. It occurs when there are two or more opposing sides within a group.
2.3. Interpersonal conflicts
This conflict occurs between people as isolated units. This is what happens, for example, in cases where someone owes us money.
2.4. Intrapersonal conflicts
Interpersonal conflict occurs in a single person who feels contradictory ideas or feelings. There is no consensus on whether it is a real conflict, since to accept its existence we should accept that within a person there can be coherent entities with their own motivations and interests.
3. According to its content
If we look at what originates the confrontation, these are the types of conflicts that we will observe:
3.1. Conflicts of values.
In this case, what is at stake is the preeminence of some values over others. It happens a lot in the field of political, ideological and religious propaganda.
3.2. Conflicts over power
When conflicts for power occur, there is competition for access to a role from which it is possible to make relevant decisions that affect the organization of a team, an organization or a society. For example, it may arise within a political party with several candidates who want to become General Secretary.
Relational conflicts usually arise because of communication failures or external events that affect the relationship and leave a mark on it. They can be very common in couple relationships or in groups of friends.
3.4. Conflicts of interest
In this case, the origin of the conflict is given in part by the position that each person occupies in a given social network. For example, the police chief and the thief will have a naturally conflictive relationship, especially because of their roles.
3.5. Personality conflicts
These conflicts arise for relatively subjective reasons, such as incompatibilities of tastes, differences in interests and priorities, etc.
4. According to their degree of truthfulness
Finally, based on the criterion of truthfulness, the types of conflicts are as follows:
4.1. Imaginary conflicts
These are fictitious, although they may be inspired by real events. For example, it occurs when we believe that someone wants to harm us at work, when in fact this is not the case. However, if this phenomenon persists, it can become a real conflict.
4.2. Invented conflicts
In this case there is no real conflict either, but it is not caused by a misunderstanding, but by someone’s intention to act as if there were a conflict. For example, it happens when someone pretends to be offended by another person’s comment, in order to make a profit by showing everyone how the other person apologizes.
4.3. Real conflicts
As the name suggests, these conflicts are real, and are recognized as such by virtually all parties involved. They are the most common of all those that form part of the classification according to the criterion of veracity.