Goals in Conflict Essay Example

Pages: 3 (1294 words) Published: April 15, 2008
Wilmot and Hocker have stated in the Seventh Edition of Interpersonal Conflict that “[c]onflict is more than a disagreement; it is when people believe that another interferes with their interests and goals” (p. 62). When considering conflict, interests and goals are considered the same thing. There are four general types of interests and goals which are topic or content, relational, identity (or facework), and process; these together are easily remembered by using the acronym TRIP(Wilmot, 2007. p.63). To better describe and explain these types of goals, the following personal conflict will be used. The Crossen Family consists of five members, the mother (myself), the husband (William), and the three female children (Brittney, Kerra, and Morgan). Over the past few weeks, the family has endured a constant conflict regarding what seemed to be household chores. The parents wanted more help from the children; the children didn’t want to do the chores. What seems as a simple issue of not doing chores actually holds a set of shifting goals by each participant in the conflict. Topic goals are the easiest goals to identify in a conflict, as well as the easiest to communicate to others. Perhaps the number one thing to question in a conflict is what each person wants in the situation. In the conflict above, each person has a goal that is easily heard from the participants of the conflict. The mother wants help with the chores, as she is busy. The father wants the arguments over with, and the chores done. The two girls mainly in the argument (the third is a toddler) want the yelling to stop and to have free time of their own. The struggles regarding content or topics usually come from either people wanting two different things (the parents want the chores done and the children want free time instead), or the people want the same thing (there is one chore everyone wants to do, or does not want to do). When it seems that the same thing is sought after and is scarce...
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