It may be time to take your head out of the sand regarding fear of conflict. How you learned to manage conflict has a lot to do how you were raised in your home. Absent parents, angry parents, poor modeling all contributed to this problem. Avoiding conflict does NOT make problems or those feelings magically go away!!! In fact, suppressing emotions, especially anger and resentment is harmful and can create increased anger, depression and/or anxiety. Pushing down anger causes resentment to build. Avoidance of the person is really avoidance of the feelings you need to express. This blog post is meant to have you examine the costs or repercussions of avoiding conflict in your life. In essence, you are coping by not having to cope or deal with the person and situation that is conflictual. By the way, you are not alone. Most people generally avoid confronting someone when hurt, disappointed or feel attacked. Work to identify what is offensive to you, be expressive and assertive with your feelings. Burying those feeling only fester and infect you in negative ways and make you feel worse.
The three A’s of conflict avoidance strategies that are common are:
If you ignore your own feelings, hide those feelings, and neglect your own needs, causes more conflict. The only way to repair from the hurt feelings and conflict is to engage with the person and attempt a repair. This is how you can grow in any relationship and develop greater trust and confidence in your ability to have, face and manage conflict.
- Learn to speak up, make friends with conflict
- be comfortable trusting yourself
- express your feelings of hurt and fear
- engage in working through the conflict
If you need help, coaching, courage or practice, CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help.