Conflict vs. Frustration: Know the Difference
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on November 8, 2023
Conflict is a clash or disagreement between opposing parties; frustration is a feeling of upset or annoyance due to unmet expectations.
A disagreement or clash
A feeling of annoyance or upset
Opposing views, competition
Blocked goals, unmet expectations
Can be outward and visible
Often an internal emotional state
Compromise, negotiation, mediation
Personal coping, change in situation or perception
Arguments, wars, disputes
Conflict and Frustration Definitions
Conflict is a serious disagreement or argument.
The conflict between the two neighbors escalated quickly.
Frustration is the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of unable to change or achieve something.
His frustration grew as he failed to solve the math problem.
In literature, a conflict is a struggle between a character and an opposing force.
The central conflict in the story was man versus nature.
Frustration can also mean the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something.
The new regulations caused frustration among the team members.
Conflict can refer to internal strife within a person's mind.
He was dealing with a moral conflict that kept him awake at night.
The term can also refer to the thwarting of an attempt to reach a goal.
The traffic jam was the source of much frustration during his commute.
In international relations, conflict represents a state of armed opposition.
The countries were on the brink of conflict over territorial disputes.
In psychology, frustration is the emotion arising from the conflict between a person's goals and obstacles.
Frustration is common when learning a new skill.
A state of open, often prolonged fighting; a battle or war.
Frustration may involve feelings of dissatisfaction with one’s own limitations or circumstances.
She felt frustration at her lack of progress in the new job.
A state of disagreement or disharmony between persons or ideas; a clash
A conflict over water rights.
The act of preventing the accomplishment or fulfillment of something
The defense's frustration of their opponent's attempts to score.
(Psychology) An emotional or mental disturbance resulting from the opposition or simultaneous functioning of mutually exclusive impulses, desires, or tendencies.
The feeling or state of being frustrated
I couldn't get a real person to talk to and slammed down the phone in frustration.
Opposition between characters or forces in a work of drama or fiction, especially when motivating or shaping the action of the plot.
Something that causes such a feeling or state
A job with many frustrations.
To be in or come into opposition; differ.
The feeling of annoyance at impassibility from resistance.
(Archaic) To engage in warfare.
The act of frustrating, or the state, or an instance of being frustrated.
A clash or disagreement, often violent, between two or more opposing groups or individuals.
The conflict between the government and the rebels began three years ago.
(law) The state of contract that allows a party to back away from its contractual obligations due to (unforeseen) radical changes to the nature of the thing a party has been obligated to.
An incompatibility, as of two things that cannot be simultaneously fulfilled.
I wanted to attend the meeting but there's a conflict in my schedule that day.
A thing that frustrates.
(intransitive) To be at odds (with); to disagree or be incompatible
Anger not directed at anything or anyone in particular.
(intransitive) To overlap (with), as in a schedule.
Your conference call conflicts with my older one: please reschedule.
It appears that our schedules conflict.
The act of frustrating; disappointment; defeat; as, the frustration of one's designs.
A striking or dashing together; violent collision; as, a conflict of elements or waves.
The feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals
A strife for the mastery; hostile contest; battle; struggle; fighting.
As soon as he [Atterbury] was himself again, he became eager for action and conflict.
An irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces.
An act of hindering someone's plans or efforts
To strike or dash together; to meet in violent collision; to collide.
Fire and water conflicting together.
A feeling of annoyance at being hindered or criticized;
Her constant complaints were the main source of his frustration
To maintain a conflict; to contend; to engage in strife or opposition; to struggle.
A man would be content to . . . conflict with great difficulties, in hopes of a mighty reward.
To be in opposition; to be contradictory.
The laws of the United States and of the individual States may, in some cases, conflict with each other.
An open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals);
The harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph
Police tried to control the battle between the pro- and anti-abortion mobs
Opposition between two simultaneous but incompatible feelings;
He was immobilized by conflict and indecision
A hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war;
Grant won a decisive victory in the battle of Chickamauga
He lost his romantic ideas about war when he got into a real engagement
A state of opposition between persons or ideas or interests;
His conflict of interest made him ineligible for the post
A conflict of loyalties
An incompatibility of dates or events;
He noticed a conflict in the dates of the two meetings
Opposition in a work of drama or fiction between characters or forces (especially an opposition that motivates the development of the plot);
This form of conflict is essential to Mann's writing
A disagreement or argument about something important;
He had a dispute with his wife
There were irreconcilable differences
The familiar conflict between Republicans and Democrats
Be in conflict;
The two proposals conflict!
Go against, as of rules and laws;
He ran afould of the law
This behavior conflicts with our rules
Conflict can also describe the discord in a group due to different opinions.
The committee faced conflict over the proposed policy changes.
Repeatedly Asked Queries
How can conflict be positive?
When resolved constructively, conflict can lead to growth and innovation.
What is an example of conflict?
An argument between coworkers over a project is a conflict.
What are signs of frustration?
Irritability, anxiety, and a sense of helplessness are signs of frustration.
Is conflict always negative?
No, conflict can be an opportunity for positive change.
How can frustration be managed?
Techniques include problem-solving, communication, and stress management.
Is there always a solution to conflict?
Not always, but seeking common ground can help.
What are common causes of conflict?
Scarce resources, differing values, and personality clashes can cause conflict.
Can frustration lead to conflict?
Yes, unresolved frustration can escalate into conflict.
Is frustration a type of conflict?
Frustration is not a type of conflict; it's an emotional response.
Can frustration be caused by conflict?
Yes, conflict can be a source of frustration if it blocks goals.
Do all conflicts involve anger?
No, conflicts can occur without anger, based on differing opinions.
Can conflict be internal?
Yes, internal conflict occurs within an individual's mind.
How does frustration affect health?
Chronic frustration can lead to stress and related health issues.
What is the first step in resolving conflict?
Identifying the underlying issues and concerns of all parties.
Can frustration be constructive?
If channeled properly, it can motivate positive change.
Are children affected by conflict?
Yes, children can be deeply affected by conflict around them.
What role does empathy play in dealing with frustration?
Empathy can help understand the reasons behind frustration and aid in addressing it.
Can frustration be silent?
Yes, frustration can be a silent feeling without outward signs.
Are conflict resolution skills important?
Yes, they are critical for personal and professional relationships.
How do organizations manage conflict?
Through policies, mediation, and fostering open communication.
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Written byShumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.