Conflict Resolution Mistakes to Avoid

This can be stressful when you can’t talk to your partner about everything and work out differences or talk about your differing opinions. This may be able to work for a while in a relationship but having a conflict avoidant partner may cause you to feel like you will be unable to work out your problems. Issues may never seem to get handled because you cannot talk to them. Many people dislike conflict, but in some cases, conflict avoidance can harm your relationships and health. Spinelli highly recommends therapy for people who tend to avoid conflict because it can help you understand why you avoid conflict and practice conflict-management techniques.

  • Relationship conflict refers to a disagreement, argument, or debate that takes place between two people within a relationship.
  • Remember that understanding your own interests is just as important as figuring out the other person’s interests.
  • Conflict can provide us with opportunities to grow and cultivate richer and deeper relationships.
  • They will often apologize, accommodate, or agree with their partner.
  • They can erode trust, make your partner feel unsafe, and cause you to harbor resentment in a way that may make you feel unheard in the long run.

She worries that her husband will judge her, criticize her, or reject her if she engages in conflict. We may begin to feel anxious, defensive, or even angry. By Elizabeth Scott, PhD

Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. Some people interrupt, roll their eyes, and rehearse what they’re going to say next instead of truly listening and attempting to understand their partner. This keeps you from seeing their point of view, and keeps your partner from wanting to see yours! Don’t underestimate the importance of really listening and empathizing with the other person!

You’re Healing From Some Heavy Stuff

When you are able to work through conflict together, intimacy can deepen. However, when you or your partner handle conflict by avoiding it altogether, your relationship can suffer. Although things may seem fine on the surface, anger, resentment, and bitterness can be brewing underneath. In fact, avoiding conflict can cause many problems in your relationship and can weaken your couple connection. Of course, disagreements may be necessary, and when you can’t have these, you may feel like you are incompatible with your mate.

Just because you may avoid discussing the issues that you may conflict about, it does not mean that the issues go away. The issues build on one another, harming relationships from the inside out, until the only healthy option is to examine the viability of the marriage. The conflict avoider needs to work through any past events that have caused them to shy away from conflict. This usually will mean attending individual counseling in addition to couples counseling. Conflict avoiders need to improve their tolerance of distressing feelings and also be able to express their feelings and needs appropriately.

Ways to Reconnect with Yourself When You Feel Lost in Your Relationship

Commit yourself to speaking up when confronted with a conflict or disagreement. Venting to friends via e-mail or posting comments online won’t do. You may feel momentary relief but these options offer little-to-no growth and often come off as passive-aggressive. If you feel frightened or anxious about confronting someone, bring along a friend or co-worker. It’s vital to do everything you can to address the conflict with the person directly. Antagonistic siblings or peers easily overwhelm vulnerable children.

When you keep hiding your feelings and sweeping problems under the rug, you won’t actually make them go away. They may actually come back stronger, when you least want them to. You may also subconsciously direct the negative and painful feelings to your partner, how to deal with someone who avoids conflict blaming them for your inability to speak up and nurture intimacy. Or you may direct them inwardly and begin to hate yourself for your perceived weaknesses. Accommodators set aside their own needs because they want to please others in order to keep the peace.

Help for Dealing with a Conflict Avoiding Family

Anytime you cannot work through an issue weighing on your relationship, this can become a problem. Having a spouse who avoids confrontation can cause you to be unable to hash things out and compromise. Even if they try not to argue with you, this doesn’t mean they are lying. While it may be challenging when faced with how to deal with someone who avoids conflict, it is possible, so consider all the things you know about your partner and keep learning more. Moreover, it may take you being understanding to them, even when you don’t want to be, especially if they were trying to protect your feelings by not arguing with you about a topic or event.

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