AnxietyNervousness and fear that can surround social processes such as public speaking or meeting new people. This is typically mild and can increase your alertness such that it potentially benefits performance. Overcoming fears also adds to the sense of accomplishment in social situations whereby the relief of performing under pressure creates a sense of joy.
CriticismConveying negative feedback creates tension whereby both sides may feel pressure or stress. This is nonetheless an important process that helps individuals to improve and groups to thrive with high creativity and productivity.
Group HarmonyThe opposite of social tension is group harmony whereby groups prioritize the avoidance of pressure or stress over critical thinking, improvement and change. This is likely to produce mediocrity and complacency.
Creative TensionCreative tension is the process of purposely creating tension in order to push for change or create the conditions necessary for creativity and productivity.
Debate & ArgumentThe process of debate, arguing and persuasion tends to generate social tension. A group that supports free speech, candor and open discussion embraces social tension. Groups may try to reduce or eliminate social tension with groupthink and other processes that reduce candor to produce group cohesion and harmony.
Political TensionPolitics is the process by which groups make decisions. This is a natural venue for creative tension, criticism and debate whereby tensions are normal and healthy. A political process devoid of tension would be likely to produce highly irrational decisions such as the abilene paradox. Excessive tension such as political polarization can also produce irrational group decisions.
Social Conflict & IncivilitySocial tension that crosses into conflict and incivility is a negative thing as cooperation completely breaks down such that tension no longer benefits the group but rather fuels destructive processes.
|Overview: Social Tension|
Pressure or stress that is felt in a social situation.