We are all unique individuals with our own needs, desires, values and worldview – so some degree of interpersonal conflict is to be expected.  The textbook highlights several different approaches we can take to deal with or resolve these types of conflicts.  How we deal with them affects the quality of our relationships and how stressful or supportive they may be. In turn, this affects how well we perform in other areas of our lives.

Describe in detail and in narrative form how you typically deal with interpersonal conflict.  Describe in detail your style in terms of assertiveness, aggressiveness or submissiveness.  Define each term.  What do we mean when we talk of being “assertive” – that is, what do we see when we observe the communication style of someone who is being assertive?  What behaviors characterize an assertive approach to interpersonal communication?  Discuss some ways we can become more assertive.  Do you use the same method/style across all of your social relationships (i.e., from co-workers, to strangers, family members, friends, your partner) all the time?  Do you think different relationships (e.g., work, friendship, family, romantic) often require the use of different approaches to communication and resolving interpersonal conflict?  Why do you think so (or why not)?  How successful would you consider your approach to dealing with interpersonal conflict?

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