Type: Exploratory
Pages: 3 | Words: 638
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Introduction to Role Conflict

There are many circumstances that can lead to the development of a conflict or a strain situation which must not be confused since they represent different kinds of relationship amongst various roles and statuses. Thus, the aim of this paper is to comprehend the difference between a role conflict and a role strain providing some examples from my personal experience.

About Social Statuses

Having so many social statuses such as being a mother, a student, and an employee puts too many obligations on me and makes me experience a deep role conflict. However, the two statuses that conflict with each other most are the status of an employee and a student. As an employee, my role is working; I work full-time so I am required to dedicate a lot of time and effort to my work. As a student, my role is studying which includes completing my homework, preparing for the tests, and dedicating time to my studies.

Hence, the role conflict is connected to sometimes not having enough time or possibility for performing well within the roles of both statuses – studying and working. For example, when I have to spend more time completing my tasks at work, it conflicts with my status of a student since it does not leave me enough time for studying, and vice versa. Moreover, when I stay up late studying, I feel exhausted and not very productive next day at work.

I believe that the most efficient methods that I use to cope with the role conflict are based on personal role redefinition through partitioning and separating roles, prioritizing tasks, and thoroughly planning my time.

The Status of a Mother

The status of a mother makes me experience a role strain due to having multiple roles within this status. My roles include looking after my children, supporting them financially, being their mentor and a friend, maintaining the house, etc. Nevertheless, there are two roles that create the biggest role strain for me as a mother – being a mentor and being a friend for my children. As a mentor, I have to be quite strict with my children making sure that they study a lot and make correct choices in their lives. It means that I should be able to set the rules, be firm and dominant.

As their friend, I have to understand them, let them relax, go out, and have fun. The two roles sometimes contradict with each other because I can`t be strict and soft to my children at the same time. If I let them go out every time they want and relax, I will not reach the goal set up by my status of a mentor which requires explaining the importance of studying and working, and the other way around. The difficulty of keeping a balance between performing the roles of a mentor and a friend for my children within the status of a mother generates a role strain.

I deal with the mentioned role strain through structural and personal role redefinition. First, I integrate the roles and perform them simultaneously by giving valuable advice to my children, but in a friendly way. Instead of monotonously teaching them what to do and how, I spend more time trying to understand them and talk as a friend. Furthermore, I try changing my attitude toward the role by trying to look at my children more like friends, not in a traditional way of parent-children relationship in order to reduce the dissonance.

The Role Conflict Summary

Thus, the role conflict that I experience is connected to the roles interference due to having a status of an employee and a student. The role strain is based on the disagreement between the roles of a student and a mentor for my children within a status of a mother.

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