But in the long run, an avoidance coping response to stress tends to exacerbate anxiety rather than alleviate it. When approaching the person with whom you are in conflict, you might acknowledge the discomfort you feel before explaining why you believe it is important to talk things through. If you believe you have been wronged, rather than lashing out in anger, present your interpretation of the situation, and ask the other person to describe how they see things. If you’ve hurt the other person, take responsibility for your actions and be prepared to apologize before discussing how to move forward. It’s entirely possible to be very comfortable asserting yourself — but only once you’ve given yourself some private moments to reflect.

  • You could even ask if your partner would consider inviting you to the events they are going to.
  • If anyone starts yelling or name-calling, you’ll suggest taking a breather and revisiting the conversation later, Wehrman says.
  • Yet, withholding emotions for an extended period of time takes a toll.
  • You may need to give yourself some extra pep talks before you say you reaaally want to order pizza for your birthday, knowing it’s not your girlfriend’s favorite.
  • In addition, a person who can own their mistakes in a relationship is often easy to spend time with.

Why Conflict Avoidance Doesn’t Work

Positive experiences resolving minor issues, such as household chores that aren’t getting done, can equip you to take on bigger concerns. It’s possible to overcome conflict avoidance and learn to handle confrontation in a productive, healthy way. Consider practicing conflict-management skills https://ecosoberhouse.com/ in low-stress situations. Therapy and anxiety-management techniques might also help you cope during conflict. The degree of success of a relationship within a couple, family, workplace, or group is how effectively all parties can rupture—have disagreements—and repair their conflicts.

Conflict avoiders withdraw from the relationship.

Why Trauma Makes Me Avoid Conflict at All Costs – The Mighty

Why Trauma Makes Me Avoid Conflict at All Costs.

Posted: Sat, 26 Sep 2020 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worth your time and energy. Maybe you don’t want to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes, but if there are dozens of empty spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it. If you’re holding on to grudges based on past conflicts, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired.

  • Conflict is an inevitable, completely normal part of the human condition, yet most people readily admit that they intentionally avoid anything that even remotely resembles disagreement or confrontation.
  • For example, one person in the relationship may become jealous when another starts spending a lot of their time going out with co-workers instead of coming home after work.
  • Ask if they want to take a break or revisit at another time.
  • People who are conflict avoidant—meaning they do everything they can to avoid getting others upset or angry—often struggle with a few tendencies.
  • They may try to deflect conflict by changing the topic or using humor to steer the discussion away from areas of disagreement.
  • Gunnysackers silently keep score of all the annoyances, injuries, objections and wrongdoings in a relationship until they can’t take it another second.

Conflict Avoidance Doesn’t Do You Any Favors

When we avoid external conflict, have we created an internal battle? After all, we have suppressed our emotions, possibly anger, some frustration, our thoughts, and maybe even our beliefs. Our external conflict has been resolved but, unfortunately, only to be replaced by our own internal conflict. Perhaps you have fears over how your partner will react if you bring up an issue, or maybe you have anxiety over feeling vulnerable in front of someone else. A 2021 study, for instance, analyzed same-sex relationships and how they managed conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that people were more conflict avoidant during the pandemic, which led to lower levels of satisfaction in the relationship.

In other words, you might be avoiding that confrontation because you’re pretty sure nothing good will come of it. “Conflict avoidance often manifests from a negative experience that may have taught you that it’s safer to avoid than to engage,” Morales explains. When a given circumstance signals you to fight, flee, or freeze, the easiest decision for you might be to walk away. The pressure mounts and perceived stress is followed by sweat, an increased heart rate, and worry, and your gut reaction to is avoid the situation altogether. If you’ve been in a volatile relationship before, you’ve seen where confrontation can lead. Foresight warns you that confrontation may not be worth the potential result, which leads to avoidance.

a person who avoids conflict

How Conflict Avoidance Can Impact a Relationship

If your perception of conflict comes from painful memories from early childhood or previous unhealthy relationships, you may expect all disagreements to end badly. You may view conflict as demoralizing, humiliating, or how to deal with someone who avoids conflict something to fear. If your early life experiences left you feeling powerless or out of control, conflict may even be traumatizing for you. After all, two people can’t be expected to agree on everything, all the time.

Researchers argue that personality disorders are primarily genetic neurological conditions (Lester & Godwin, 2021) that foster negative patterns of behavior that can damage relationships. People with narcissistic personality disorder, for example, tend to lack empathy to truly understand another’s feelings and position, which is the most important step in conflict resolution. They also tend to display a lack of humility, and thus may not apologize after harming another or only see the situation from their own perspective. They tend to also have limited awareness of their behaviors toward others and don’t often take responsibility for their actions.

a person who avoids conflict

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