Case Study #5
“He said….She Said”
Vicky McFerren Lankford
In the case of “He Said, She Said”, Marie is always trying to protect her son, no matter what the cost to her relationship with her fiancé Mike. Lenny on the other hand, seems to be the lower-powered person using seduction to try and charm or trick his mother into going along with what he wants. Marie uses avoidance and destructive competition instead of resolving the matter in a more collaborative or accommodating way.
While Mike wants to engage in conflict to resolve the matter, Marie wants to protect her son by avoiding it, no matter what the cost to their relationship. Marie’s preference for engaging or avoiding Mike can develop into a rigid style, and when this happens, constructive ...view middle of the document...
What do you know about being a parent? You never even call your own mother.” (Case Study) This competitive tactic can often damage a relationship. It “locks the participants into round-robin sequences of attack on each other, and deprives the participants of cooperative solutions to their problems (Wilmot & Hocker)”.
According to Brockriede (1972), Lenny uses what is called “seduction”. Lenny tries to charm his mother into going along with what his desires are. It can best be shown when he gets up the next morning and goes down to the kitchen, when he senses his mothers repressed anger and Mike’s attempts at conversation, and he jumps in and says; “Hey guys, sorry about last night. Next time, I’ll call, I promise.” (Case Study)
Through compromise Marie and Mike could both accomplish important goals and have less stress on their relationship. It would reinforce a power balance to achieve a settlement in the conflict. According to Wilmot & Hocker compromise works best when other styles have failed or are clearly unsuitable. Another style of resolving this conflict would be through accommodation. Accommodation does not assert individual needs and prefers a cooperative and harmonizing approach (Neff and Harter, 2002). Here, the individual set aside his or her concerns in favor of pleasing the other people involved (Wilmot & Hocker).
Collaboration, on the other hand, demands the most constructive engagement of any of the conflict styles (Wilmot & Hocker). It would show a high level of concern not only for Marie’s goals, but also for Mike’s goals. Through collaboration both Marie and Mike could come up with a successful solution and at the same time enhance their relationship, causing much less stress on it. By using the collaboration style, relationship are better than when the conflict began.
He Said, She Said; Case Study
Wilmot W. & Hocker J.; Interpersonal Conflict