One way to prevent conflicts from festering and becoming unmanageable is to have a weekly “state of the union” meeting with your significant other. Practice starting the conversation in a non-confrontational manner, and make a list of points you’d like to cover during the discussion. So, what can you do to learn how to stop being afraid of confrontation? Thinking of problems as challenges is a great cognitive reframe.
When your fear brain (amygdala) is lit up, the rational, calm thinking part of your brain (your prefrontal cortex) can’t come on line. The phrase “conflict avoidance” implies that there will be a negative conflict or tension. Disagreement or sharing your feelings can be seen as an opportunity for growth for yourself and/or your relationship. A therapist can help you and how to deal with someone who avoids conflict your partner learn healthy conflict resolution skills and help you develop a better understanding of yourself and your partner. Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
How Conflict Avoidance Can Impact a Relationship
They think that if they keep their opinions and needs to themselves, others will like them. If you’d like to discuss a source of conflict with your partner, you can calm your nerves with some planning. Think about what you want to say and how you’ll start the conversation.
As humans, we are wired to move toward pleasure and avoid pain. We do this in many ways, including through five main types of avoidance. Kari Rusnak, MA, LPC, is a licensed couples counselor with a multistate telehealth practice. Erin Leonard, Ph.D. is a practicing psychotherapist and the author of three books about relationships and parenting.
The Three Ways Conflict Avoidance Hurts Your Relationships
Jeff reported increased confusion regarding his commitment to his partner Jean. While he deeply cared for her, enjoyed her companionship, and believed they had much in common, he was unable to discuss future plans with her. He would freeze up, say he was just too tired, or find other ways to ignore her request. Over time, he felt more isolated, which only further contributed to undermining his commitment. Jeff sought treatment because he recognized this was an issue in his past relationships as well. This deficit may be fairly static so a person may need to avoid the constant ordeals.
- Lashing out at your mom for that condescending thing she said?
- The trick is to learn when this is necessary and not just avoid conflict because you are afraid of conflict.
- By determining your specific avoidance behaviors, you can better address them.
- If you are struggling with conflict avoidance and want to learn how to communicate effectively with your partner, please seek professional help.
- Tim successfully eliminates extra expenses for several months.
- A reason I see often for conflict avoidance is one or both partners experience flooding during or leading up to conflict and don’t know how to manage it properly.
- It can be common for an explosion to happen after too many things get built up.
It’s a strategy that helps you open your mindset to a new point of view, a new angle on what’s happening so you can think differently about it. So, if you started thinking differently about voicing your opinion and seeing it as a positive thing with a positive outcome, you’d be much more likely to do it and stop avoiding. Fear of conflict can be incredibly deeply rooted, so this step can be hard. Try to remind yourself that confrontation won’t necessarily result in pain and distress.