The Types of Conflict in Communication


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.


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