Effective Ways to Approach a Conflict-Avoider

And really invest in understanding them, not out of kindness or generosity. It’s a strategic play to say, OK, if I understand where they’re coming from, I’m going to be able to better resolve this and ideally get what I need from the situation. And I really had to step back and think, OK, what are https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/how-to-approach-a-person-who-prefers-avoiding-conflicts/ three other ways to explain what’s happening here? You know, what way am I contributing to the problem here? And try to open up my thinking, not necessarily to let the other person be right, but more as a way to just open up my mind so that I can learn in the discussion from the other person.

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  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication have both been empirically shown effective in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD).
  • These disagreements can be big or small, ranging from what to eat for dinner or failing to complete a chore to arguments about whether the couple should move for one partner’s career or deciding on children’s religious upbringing.
  • If you find it difficult to construct the exact scenarios that cause you fear, visualizing them might be the better option.
  • You may feel momentary relief but these options offer little-to-no growth and often come off as passive-aggressive.
  • No matter the start to life, as adults conflict avoiders end up feeling that sharing their opinions, thoughts and feelings is scary and not worth it.
  • The more complaints you raise, the less likely it is that any will actually get fully discussed and resolved.

To solve interpersonal conflict, all parties must talk about their interests or the WHYs behind their positions. They must share their true interests and work together to find a solution that satisfies those interests. Common interests for students are to sleep, study, entertain and relax in a comfortable atmosphere. Often their interests are more intangible such as respect, belonging, friendship, and fun. When individuals have differing lifestyles, values, and schedules the need to discuss their differences is critical in managing conflict. You must develop a balanced plan of give and take that satisfies everyone’s interests.

Next steps

Arnie Aronoff, an organizational development consultant in Chicago, uses the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument to help individuals become aware of the extent of their conflict avoidance. While it’s OK to never be completely comfortable with confrontation, being able to resolve issues effectively means accepting it as a healthy part of communicating with others. Leaving conflicts unresolved leads to pent-up frustration and a greater sense of loneliness that can build up over time. Laughing nervously or plastering a fake smile on our face instead of acknowledging distressing emotions can also lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. In a relationship, this can look like going silent on a partner, changing the subject, or enduring uncomfortable situations instead of expressing issues openly. Conflict avoidance is a type of people-pleasing behavior that typically arises from a deep rooted fear of upsetting others.

how to deal with someone who avoids conflict

You can show your partner that you’re paying attention by using active listening techniques.7 When your partner speaks, paraphrase what they say — that is, rephrase it in your own words. This can prevent misunderstandings before they start. You can also perception-check, by making sure that you’re interpreting your partner’s reactions correctly. For example, “You seem irritated by that comment — am I right?” These strategies both prevent misunderstandings and show your partner that you’re paying attention to them and care about what they’re saying. Encourage others who are in conflict to deal directly with the person they are in conflict with. Avoiding the conflict and venting to others tends to escalate the conflict and fuels the rumor mill.

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As the lines between real and fake blur, Americans increasingly chase the idea of authenticity. The first step may be to consider self-knowledge, truthfulness, and other building blocks on the road to personal growth. Have you ever been in a conflict or been angry at someone and not known how to solve it? Healthy and creative conflict resolution is an essential skill that many adults don’t know how to master. Whether it’s defusing potentially damaging fights with a spouse or tackling tough problems in the workplace or at school, a couple of key pointers will go a long way in equipping you with the right tools to resolve conflicts.

  • But what if you can’t distance yourself from a conflict entrepreneur?
  • Encourage others who are in conflict to deal directly with the person they are in conflict with.
  • Sometimes they do this for profit, but more often for attention or power.
  • And ask in a caring, empathetic way, rather than accusatory, angry way.

Developing a better understanding of why you are hesitant to bring up an issue within your relationship may help you better express yourself to your partner, leading to more impactful conversations. Sometimes, a little self-reflection can provide significant insight into the core issues in your relationship and even into some of your most fundamental fears in life. A 2011 research study found that high conflict avoidance in a relationship will likely cause relationship dissatisfaction for women, but not necessarily for men. Conflict avoidance, also known as complaint avoidance, is when a person avoids discussing issues with their partner to avoid confrontation or an argument. People may do this as a way to preserve harmony in the relationship.

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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. He convinced the bank president to offer her a $10,000 voluntary separation package (which he somewhat disingenuously called a “scholarship”) that offered her the financial wherewithal to quit her job. After hearing the offer, her attitude improved dramatically. She left the bank a short time later with no hard feelings and no further threats of lawsuits. “It’s hard to step up, especially given the difference in power, but if you want to recover from making your boss angry, it’s important to not be timid and take the lead,” Dillon said. It may be particularly difficult for flighters to address conflicts directly with their managers.

how to deal with someone who avoids conflict

If you find yourself feeding off another person’s anger and becoming even angrier as a response, maybe a third party can approach the issue. One of the most effective methods of communicating with a defensive person is using “I” statements. This means framing the effects of situation around your personal experience, not on what the other person did wrong or what it might mean about them as a person.

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