However, when conflict is not productive or healthy, it can be harmful to everyone involved. Sustained, unresolved conflict can create tension at home or at work, can erode the strength and satisfaction of relationships, and can even make people feel physically sick or in pain. Many people dislike conflict, but in some cases, conflict avoidance can harm your relationships and health. “Individuals who are conflict-avoidant tend to expect there will be a negative reaction and avoid even interactions that are healthy conflicts,” she explains. Susan dodged difficult discussions with her husband by yelling, ‘sitting on the pitty pot,’ and other deflective and defensive behaviors. When Susan’s husband, Dan, tried to broach the subject of Susan’s excessive drinking, she yelled back, “If I didn’t have to do all the work around the house, I wouldn’t drink so much!
If any of these myths feel true for you, then you are bound to feel a little scared when conflict arises. The conflict will feel more threatening and scary than it actually is if you believe it’s a sign that something is terribly wrong. It challenges you to have empathy for someone else’s how to deal with someone who avoids conflict perspective, consider your impact on others, adjust your ways of being to become a better partner, and understand and express your own needs so that you can get your needs met. Childhood trauma can also be activated when you are in conflict with someone close to you as an adult.
Consider working with a therapist
Our natural response to fear is typically flight or freeze, either of those can be appropriate when we’re in really scary situations. If conflict feels scary for you that might be what you do. Professional intervention can help address the root cause of conflict avoidance and give you more strategies to avoid conflict avoidance in the future. Try to understand the views and perspectives of others involved in your confrontations and conflicts. Empathy can help you understand others’ perspectives and teach you how to become involved in conflict resolution without harming others. Develop your communication skills and learn to express yourself as assertively and constructively as you can, especially when faced with a confrontational situation.
Confrontation avoidance can develop because of the body’s physiological reaction to stress. If you view confrontation in a negative light, you may be overly physiologically aroused during times of conflict. You avoid conflict because it serves the purpose of protecting you from something you fear.
Conflict Avoidance: What to Do When Silence Becomes Stifling
You can find that back on the podcast feed for your listening pleasure. This is what we’re also kind of talking about is the experience of emotional flooding, which I have also discussed on previous podcasts. If we’re not talking about important things, and actively resolving issues in a courageous and direct way, it’s very easy to become resentful.