Conflict Avoidance: Why It’s Harmful, How to Overcome It & More

Of all of the negative things you can do and say during a conflict, the worst may be contempt. Gottman has found that it is the top predictor of divorce.3 Contemptuous remarks are those that belittle your partner. It can also include nonverbal behavior like rolling your eyes or smirking. Such behavior is extremely disrespectful, and implies that you’re disgusted with your partner. Another awareness that may surface during a potential conflict is to reveal what triggers your confrontation anxiety.

Your attempts will be respected by even your adversaries when you open up the dialogue of alternative thinking. Un-likeminded thinking, on the other hand, opens up new windows of clearer vision and new opportunities for understanding. The fictitious reality of conflict is that it is not what you think it is, but rather, a potential gift wrapped in unlimited surprises. Fear of abandonment is a type of anxiety that some people experience when faced with the idea of losing someone they care about. Avoiding the fear of abandonment by others may work temporarily. Your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and frustrations have been ignored to protect your relationship with others, but at what expense?

Personality psychology research

The strategy you use to deal with an uncooperative coworker can be different than how you’d handle a rude, critical family member. And both of those methods can change when you’re dealing with a difficult friend. When you know what causes a person to become difficult and on edge, you can figure out what steps you need to take to deal with their behavior.

  • Most interactions with colleagues are cordial and are working towards a common goal.
  • By applying these conflict resolution strategies and nurturing effective communication, you can overcome relationship conflicts and foster a healthy and harmonious partnership.
  • You’ve got to create a positive association around sharing your thoughts and feelings with others.

It requires both partners to compromise and make an effort to understand each other’s needs and desires. By finding common ground, incorporating shared activities, and appreciating each other’s individuality, you can create a harmonious and fulfilling partnership. Expressing your feelings is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship. Encourage your partner to share their emotions without judgment or criticism.

Why is conflict avoidance not healthy?

When conflicts occur, it’s important to address them right away. If problems are left to fester, they can damage team bonds, sometimes irretrievably. Some conflicts may how to deal with someone who avoids conflict be too big to resolve, such as differing views on important life decisions. Assess whether compromising your values or dreams is worth staying in the relationship.

Effective conflict resolution promotes understanding, trust, and long-term relationship satisfaction. Remember, understanding your partner’s perspective and finding compromises are ongoing processes. It requires open and honest communication, active listening, and a genuine desire to strengthen your relationship. By practicing empathy and compromise, you can navigate conflicts with love and understanding, creating a strong foundation for a lasting and healthy partnership. The desire to avoid conflict in a relationship is common, but for very different reasons.

Conflict resolution, stress, and emotions

A partner who refuses to see a loved one’s point of view often digs in and continues to repeat and promote his or her own view. Tensions may rise because the partner dismisses and ignores a person’s opinions and feelings if they differ. A power struggle may ensue and often the dogmatic partner frequently resorts to unscrupulous means to “win.” The person on the opposite end tends to feel disrespected and demeaned. He or she is usually left with two choices; to surrender or counter in an equally ugly manner. Cognitive biases are a result of natural filtering processes that help us simplify information in order to process it. We use our personal experiences and preferences as filters to understand and interpret the world around us.

how to deal with someone who avoids conflict

If you really struggle to embrace conflict, try these quick tips. Managing the relationship means focusing on the outcome of a particular interaction, not the relationship itself. It also means setting reasonable goals for what you can expect from any given interaction. Separate interviews with each complainant revealed that, in addition to their co-worker’s hacking cough, they were turned off by her bad attitude. When asked to recommend possible solutions, they suggested that the company convince her to wear a nicotine patch, find her a different job or fire her. Eager for approval and fearful of angering or disappointing others, they refuse to stand up for themselves and may be too easily cowed.

Conflict avoidance in the workplace

The conflict may offer a valuable growth experience that you would have missed through avoidance. Although knowing your own feelings may sound simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. Your ability to handle conflict, however, depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions or if you insist on finding solutions that are strictly rational, your ability to face and resolve differences will be limited. Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others. If you don’t know how or why you feel a certain way, you won’t be able to communicate effectively or resolve disagreements.

Choose a peaceful and comfortable environment where you can both focus on the topic at hand. Avoid distractions such as phones or the TV, and actively listen to each other’s perspectives. This dedicated time shows your partner that you value their thoughts and opinions. Most often, the reason for ongoing unresolved conflict in a relationship is because the high-conflict personality lacks the emotional maturity to engage in consistent relationship repair after a rupture. Research shows that psychological safety encourages moderate risk taking and open communication, behaviors that may be particularly difficult for conflict-avoidant employees. Fortunately, what’s good for flighters turns out to be good for everyone.