The Dangers of Conflict Avoidance and How to Change Your Approach

We've all been there. A situation arises that has the potential to cause conflict, and instead of addressing it head-on, we take the easy way out and avoid it. This is known as conflict avoidance, and while it might seem like a harmless tactic, it can be damaging for our mental health and our relationships. In this blog post, we'll explore the dangers of conflict avoidance and how to change your approach so that you can have healthier, more satisfying relationships.

The dangers of conflict avoidance can include a variety of different variables and outcomes: 

- Negative mental health effects. When conflict is avoided and left unresolved, it can lead to emotional suppression, stress, anxiety, and depression.

- Unmet needs. By avoiding conflict, we are often leaving our own needs unmet as well as the needs of others.

- Poor communication. The lack of open communication in a conflict situation can lead to misunderstanding, miscommunication, and the inability to effectively express one's thoughts and feelings.

- Unresolved problems. Ignoring conflict means that any underlying issues or problems that may be causing the conflict remain unresolved. This can lead to further resentment and a deterioration of the relationship.

To break out of the cycle of conflict avoidance, it's important to develop a new approach to communication and conflict resolution. Here are a few tips:

- Take time to reflect. Before entering any conversation or engagement with someone, take some time to think about the situation from both sides. This will help you understand their perspective and prepare you for a more productive conversation.

- Be open and honest. Make sure to express your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, without judging or blaming the other person. This will help ensure that both parties can come to a resolution with mutual respect.

- Listen actively. Active listening is key when resolving conflict, as it allows both parties to understand each other's point of view. Make sure to pay attention to the other person and listen carefully without interruption or judgment.

- Focus on Feelings. Conflict often arises due to differences in feelings, so make sure to identify and acknowledge the feelings of both parties involved before attempting to resolve the situation. - Focus on solutions. Rather than getting stuck in endless debate over who is right or wrong, focus on identifying potential solutions that both parties can agree with and move forward from.

By using these tips and changing our approach to conflict resolution, we can create healthier and more meaningful relationships with those around us. Conflict is an unavoidable part of our lives, but by avoiding it, we are only creating further problems. Taking the time to understand the dangers conflict avoidance poses and learning how to change our approach can help us develop better mental health and stronger relationships in the long run. Here's more info on conflict avoidance from Psychology Today, a trusted directory for therapists and psychological information: More Info.

- Aaron Schwartz
Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern
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