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How to Approach Conflict Avoidance?

What is Conflict Avoidance?

Conflict avoidance can be described as when a person avoids dealing with conflict. They have learned to use different tactics to avoid or ignore the issue. Most people avoid conflict by changing the topic, ignoring the problem, or simply shutting down. They do this to avoid unpleasant encounters in professional and personal relationships.

One big problem that can cause marital issues is conflict avoidance. It is a topic that is often discussed with marriage counselors. Most people see arguments or disagreements as setbacks in their relationship, but this is not true. Avoiding conflict can cause your relationship to slowly erode. Conflict avoidance can also negatively impact your relationship with colleagues and bosses. Some people also find themselves in situations where they are undecided about an idea or situation because of its positive and negative aspects. This is known as the approach-avoidance conflict and leads to procrastination and missed opportunities.

What are the Effects of Conflict Avoidance?

Conflict avoidance can have several impacts on your health, wellbeing, as well as your professional life. Here are some reasons why it is important for you to stop conflict avoidance.

  • Conflict avoidance can rewire your brain, leading to an increase in fear and paranoia. It teaches you that conflict is an unpleasant situation and you must stay safely away from it. This has a negative effect because you are constantly putting off things you need to do. You may feel some relief when you avoid conflict, but it is only temporary and you will have to eventually face the issue.
  • Your mental health can take a strong beating thanks to conflict avoidance. It causes you to suppress your emotions, which qualifies as an unhealthy coping mechanism. Suppressed emotions have a way of developing into other more serious problems like anger issues or anxiety.
How it Hurts you in Life,
  • Conflict avoidance can also cause you to miss out on great opportunities at work and life. Your personal growth becomes stunted if you keep avoiding conflict. Facing issues head-on prevents you from stagnating and allows you to grow. Conflict avoidance only leads to a life riddled with anxiety and phobias.
  • Personal relationships are deeply affected by conflict avoidance. It causes a lack of intimacy in your relationship, which in turn leads to people drifting apart and going their separate ways. Avoid conflict can also cause people to fear or resent their partners.

How can you Overcome Conflict Avoidance?

Conflicts can be highly stressful and frustrating, but they are necessary because you need an opportunity to express your ideas and feelings. While there may be instances where you may need to temporarily avoid conflicts, but it is never a good idea to put it off for too long. If you struggle with conflict avoidance, here are some tips that can help.

  • Just because someone has a different opinion or idea than yours, it does not mean they are wrong. Acknowledge and respect that the other person has a different perspective or point of view.
  • If being assertive makes you feel uncomfortable in a certain situation, create boundaries by identifying the limits in your relationship with that person or group.
  • Staying unemotional and composed will help you handle stressful situations a lot better. It does not give scope for frustration or anger, which can stop you from thinking rationally.
Overcoming Conflict-Avoidance
  • Avoid disagreements by working together with other people’s ideas. Instead of using “or,” start using “and” while discussing ideas.
  • Stay open to new ideas or alternatives. Remaining close-minded can make you inflexible, which is not healthy when you are working with other people. Focus on the bigger picture instead of getting only your idea across.
  • Learn to become a better listener. Pay attention to what your colleague or partner is saying so you can properly respond to their ideas or opinions. At the same time, be objective and clear while expressing your side of the situation.

Overcoming conflict-avoidance can take a huge weight off your shoulders and allow you to freely live your life. Try these tips to avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety in your professional and personal relationships.

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