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
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It is possible that protecting loss of face can become the center of a conflict, so much that the other issues can be lost or forgotten, which can slow progress towards agreement in the conflict. Saving, losing, or damaging face will occur in each conflict. In the conflict, one child mentions how she was consistent with her chores, but her sister did not do some of the chores given to her. This type of face saving does good for one child, but damages face for the other, which leaves open the opportunity for the second child to try to balance the issue by getting back at the sister later, or getting out of the relationship (not speaking to her).
Finally, process goals determine what communication process will work in a conflict (Wilmot, 2007. p.74). The communication process that is used can affect the content, identity and relational goals (Wilmot, 2007. p.74). Some processes allow for the minorities in a conflict to have more power in the conflicts and open up communications. For example, in the conflict discussed, the parents, instead of dictating how things would be done, brought the conflict to the kitchen table, acknowledging each person’s equal rights to speak openly. This form of communication allowed the children to voice their opinions on the situation, allowing the parents to better understand their feelings. This method also shows how creativity is allowed in some processes but not in others. By