7 Signs You’re Chronically Conflict-Avoidant
By actively avoiding confrontation, we feel good in the moment but ignore the future. I actively avoided every situation possible if I thought it might make me feel anxious or simply make me look bad. Some of us tend walk around and stick our heads in the sand or do whatever it takes to avoid feeling uncomfortable. You have a stuffy holiday party coming up, and you have to bring a date. Well, no, you don’t, but you’ve used “I have a Hinge date” as an excuse to ditch gatherings with the same people so many times that it only seems right to have something to show for the effort. Besides, no matter what kind of party it is — a family gathering, an office party, a dorm event — there will be mistletoe, and a date gives you an excuse to hide under it.
You prefer to be seen as the “nice person” at work, for example, or may shy away from open, healthy conflict so as not to rock the boat. One such form is that of not caring for the feelings of others, which is why we included it here. Facing an issue head on, especially when it meant potentially hurting someone else’s feelings, was unheard of.
Unlike Angry Cart Guy, most people don’t go around looking for a fight. But there are plenty of folks who err in the other direction—by going out of their way to make sure they don’t how to deal with someone who avoids conflict find themselves in a conflict of any sort. If you’re holding on to grudges based on past conflicts, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired.
It can also reinforce conflict-avoidant behavior, because after the flood of misery dumps, you may feel absolutely wretched and irrational, and resolve to “be more peaceful” in the future. Successful treatment can help to reduce symptoms and increase the range of coping strategies that the person can use to manage their anxiety. A person with avoidant personality disorder will probably always be somewhat shy, but avoidance won’t dominate their thoughts. Social anxiety disorder and avoidant personality disorder share similar symptoms and genetics, and AVPD is sometimes characterized as a more severe form of social anxiety.
Foresight warns you that confrontation may not be worth the potential result, which leads to avoidance. While it can be tempting to bottle up feelings like anger and frustration by not rocking the boat, conflict-avoiding tendencies can take a toll on your mental health. It is not your job to make sure everyone else feels happy all the time, but it is your job to make sure you don’t do anything that’s obviously going to upset someone based on what you know about them. They are both men and women, driven to cling to their children (and each other) to avoid feelings of abandonment. When you become comfortable being uncomfortable, you will be better able to deal with your feelings and the stressors that cause them.
If you learn to calm your body’s stress response when you are stressed, you’ll be less reactive and more empowered to be proactive when faced with conflict. This outcome can be avoided through active coping but it can be difficult to do at first. If you try to avoid conflict by sidestepping conversations that could contain elements of conflict, it might feel like you are steering clear of conflict and achieving low levels of stress. People who are prone to anxiety might have learned avoidance techniques early on and therefore might find it more difficult to learn proactive strategies.
Core skill 1: Quick stress relief
These stone-faced flighters have mastered the art of the silent treatment. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still. When you can recognize conflicting needs and are willing to examine them with compassion and understanding, it can lead to creative problem solving, team building, and stronger relationships. Also, the ideal timing and the best language choice for addressing an issue varies from couple to couple and from issue to issue. Nevertheless, there are some best practices to keep in mind when communicating with your partner.
- If we start from that perception, then it is not good for couples to reach a conflict that causes discomfort and almost always ends with minor wounds.
- 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.
- According to specialist Kenneth Hekman, when bad behavior is accepted, business operations are often disrupted—if not immediately, then in the long run.
And since approval is so important to them, they can have a hard time swallowing criticism. You can avoid many confrontations and resolve arguments and disagreements by communicating in a humorous way. Humor can help you say things that might otherwise be difficult to express without offending someone. However, it’s important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. When humor and play are used to reduce tension and anger, reframe problems, and put the situation into perspective, the conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires.