Have you ever found it hard choosing between spending the night out partying with your friends and spending the night in studying for an exam? If so, you have experienced a so-called situation, which is known as role conflict, the incompatible demands of different positions that an individual occupies. It is not surprising to experience this role conflict in our daily life since each of us have several statuses, and in each of those statuses, there are many roles for us to be responsible for. However, occupying many statuses and roles at same time is not the sole contributor of role conflict. According to some research and my own experience, it is asserted that there are three significant sources of role conflict.
The first and foremost factor creating role conflict is individual value. Though people might play many roles at a time, it does not mean that they would value all those roles equally. As a result, each role would be prioritized and some would be given more attention than the others. I who currently is majoring in two different universities, for example, would undoubtedly put IFL first and try my best to achieve excellent performance. However, because focusing more on my study at IFL, I occasionally would pay little or sometimes even no attention at all on my grade at the other university. This shows that I have experienced role conflict because I value one role more than the other.
The second factor influencing role conflict in our lives is situational factor. For some people, balancing their roles is essential; however, what is happening around them plays a more vital part in how they ultimately make their decision. They might have to put one role before another in some situation without noticing that they are leading themselves into role conflict. I myself once have faced a tough decision between studying for my high school senior year examination and tending to my aunt who was diagnosed for breast cancer. At that time, I had no other choice but to leave the country and forget about the examination for a while and focused all my attention on taking care of my aunt.
Last but not least, social factor is also taken into account in terms of causing role conflict in our lives. Doubtlessly, people live with statuses in their society. Surely, holding a status, people are expected to undertake some particular responsibilities known as role. However, a person does not have only one status or role. Therefore, some people somehow fail to keep all their roles balanced. To illustrate, my mom is now experiencing role conflict, for she is not only a housewife and a mother but also a supervisor in a private company. In our society, being a mother, she is expected to take care of the whole family, do the housework, and educate the children, so on and so forth. Yet, she finds it very hard to make time for those activities as she has a lot of projects to be done in her workplace. Briefly, it is so well-defined that social expectation is certainly considered as a cause of role conflict.
Concisely, there are three main sources of role conflict, namely individual value, situational factor and social factor. Logically, it is quite common that people experience role conflict because they have more than one role, which sometimes affects their living condition. Personally, I would suggest time-management as a solution since it is one effective way to avoid role conflict.