Why Do We Avoid Conflict? How Conflicts Can Help
We all strive for pleasure and satisfaction in our relationships. A presence of conflict for many people means feelings of discomfort and stress. As we normally want to avoid that flood of negative emotions, we often avoid confronting the issue either by postponing the conflict for later or closing our eyes to it altogether.
Most people don’t like conflicts and tend to think that conflicts are something bad, something that we should, by all means, avoid if we want to live happily and peacefully.
However, avoiding conflicts does nothing good in the long-run. Avoiding conflicts doesn’t reduce tension. On the contrary, it escalates it: problems and resentment grow, people become detached and stressed, and relationships strained.
Why People Avoid Conflicts?
Avoiding conflicts only deepens havoc in relationships. The truth is that a perfect relationship simply does not exist. Whether it is a love relationship, relationship with a family member, or that with a close friend, relationships require dedication and hard work.
However, many people will go out of their way to avoid conflicts. Here are the three common reasons why.
Lack of Confidence
For many people, a lack of confidence in their abilities to successfully resolve conflicts is one of the biggest reasons to avoid them (see: how to build confidence). However, if you healthily approach conflict, it can cause you to think about both side’s perspectives. Conflict can help you understand the differences and similarities between your attitudes and expectations and talk honestly about your needs, thoughts, and emotions.
The Fear of Exploring Our Emotions
During conflicts, our deep and stormy emotions float to the surface. Conflicts usually require that we take a deep look into our emotions and thoughts, and this is something a person may not be ready for.
A lack of information is one of the most common reasons why people avoid conflicts. We often tend to assume other people’s motives, expectations, and even thoughts. So, don’t assume things, but always ask questions to pick up more information and prevent uncertainty.
Why Are Conflicts Good?
Conflicts have their role in relationships – they can actually be beneficial for a relationship as long as you know how to bounce back and repair after an argument.
Conflicts Enhance Honesty
The fear of conflicts often keeps us off from being honest with ourselves and others. However, engaging in conflict allows you to communicate what you think or how you feel. It enables you to practice assertiveness and encourages you to talk about the things that are important to you honestly and openly.
Conflicts Boost Empathy
Some conflicts just cannot be resolved. For example, if you have essential opinion differences about the parenting styles, endless arguing with your partner isn’t going to change either of your viewpoints. Conflicts can help you accept and value each other even when you disagree.
Conflicts Provide a Chance for Making a Change
We avoid conflicts mainly because we haven’t learned constructive ways to handle them. Once you overcome the fear of conflicts, you’ll be able to see them as an opportunity to work on challenges in your relationship and make positive changes. Learning skills to effectively deal with conflicts will help you to approach disagreements confidentially, expressing your thoughts, emotions, and needs assertively.