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What Happens When You Avoid Conflict & How to Do It Differently

Some people have no issue with conflict, they see it as a way of airing their views, and it doesn’t cause them any angst.

But there are many more who will avoid conflict at any cost. Feeling it doesn’t go anywhere, there is no resolution to the problem, so anything for a quiet life. It may be that in your past you witnessed violent exchanges, and the thought of that recurring is frightening. Or if maybe your partner tends to want to fight. Even when there isn’t an issue, so you prefer to avoid the constant discomfort and unpleasant atmospheres.

Conflict and disagreement are inevitable in any relationship.


Even if there is no agreement, (because we cannot and will not agree on everything) it doesn’t mean you can't voice your views. Because if you bottle it up, it's likely to build up resentment.

And that resentment can build up even more as you feel unable to speak out, and communication deteriorates. you feel less connected, and the relationship withers and dies.

People can respond differently when confronted with an issue, and when emotionally charged -

  • They may get angry, lashing out, making it difficult to continue.

  • They may get upset, and tearful, and you don’t like seeing them that way.

  • They may walk away, refusing to engage.

It’s at this point that people often walk away or shut down (effectively emotionally shutting down) for fear of the same reaction, and so the resentment builds. And issues get ignored time after time, together with the resentment.

Anything for a Quiet Life

But that doesn’t resolve anything.

So when that happens, it’s best to walk away, rather than trying to battle through it.

Let your partner know you need to take a break to self-soothe

Agree on a time when you will return, but if you are still feeling emotionally charged and need more time, communicate that to your partner.

Use the time apart to self-soothe. Whether it’s breathing, meditation, going for a walk. playing a game, reading. But NOT ranting to a friend who may fire you up even more!

When you get back together, share your feelings, using the ‘I’ statement. ‘I felt upset when you…

‘I felt hurt when…'(The 'I' Statement is less threatening and much more powerful)

Allow them to share their feelings without butting in, and getting angry, as you will just keep looping round into the same patterns.

Suggest ways that could help in the future. Work as a team, rather than opponents, to create a healthy relationship where each of you feels valued, supported, and heard.  



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