Conflict is actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests. A conflict can be internal (within oneself) to individuals. Conflict as a concept can help explain many aspects of social life such as social disagreement, conflicts of interests, and fights between individuals, groups, or organisations. In political terms, "conflict" can refer to wars, revolutions or other struggles, which may involve the use of force as in the term armed conflict. Without proper social arrangement or resolution, conflicts in social settings can result in stress or tensions among stakeholders. When an interpersonal conflict does occur, its effect is often broader than two individuals involved, and can affect many associate individuals and relationships, in more or less adverse, and sometimes even way.
Conflict as taught for graduate and professional work in conflict resolution (which can be win-win, where both parties get what they want, win-lose where one party gets what they want, or lose-lose where both parties don't get what they want) commonly has the definition: "when two or more parties, with perceived incompatible goals, seek to undermine each other's goal-seeking capability".
A clash of interests, values, actions or directions often sparks a conflict. Conflicts refer to the existence of that clash. Psychologically, a conflict exists when the reduction of one motivating stimulus involves an increase in another, so that a new adjustment is demanded. The word is applicable from the instant that the clash occurs. Even when we say that there is a potential conflict we are in a way implying that there is already a conflict of direction even though a clash may not yet have occurred.
Learn more with examples of conflicts.