The Types of Conflict in Communication

by Charlotte Anne Cox

Conflict is a struggle that occurs when our needs and goals are incompatible with those of others. During our lives, we are likely to experience several conflicts with people who are close to us, people we work with and those we might not know.


There are four types of conflict in communication: intrapersonal conflict, interpersonal conflict, intragroup conflict and intergroup conflict.

Intrapersonal Conflict

The conflict that is happening inside of an individual is intrapersonal conflict. This type of conflict takes place when there is an inconsistency in our ideas, attitudes, emotions or values.

Interpersonal Conflict

Interpersonal conflict is the conflict that takes place between individuals--friends, family members, couples or even strangers. These types of conflicts usually take place when people communicate directly with each other.

Intragroup Conflict

Conflict that occurs within a small group of people is intragroup conflict. These conflicts can involve members of a family or workplace team and usually stem from individual differences that end up affecting the entire group.

Intergroup Conflict

Intergroup conflict occurs between different groups. An example is the feud that occurred between the Montagues and the Capulets in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." When conflict is this large, it can often continue for many years and is extremely complicated to resolve.

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  • Human Communication: Principles and Contexts; Stewart Tubbs and Sylvia Moss; 2008

About the Author

Charlotte Anne Cox is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. She has been a professional writer since 1994 and has written for numerous publications. She also works as a freelance editor for major publishing houses. She has a degree in English. She likes to write about issues related to crime and forensics.

Photo Credits

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