Conflict Avoidance

I *really* don’t like conflict. I’m a peace-maker at heart. My first tactic in most conflict situations is to avoid it and hope it goes away.

conflict avoidanceI’ll be the first one to admit this isn’t always the best tactic. There are times when you have to pick your battles. Unfortunately for me, I choose to run away for another day more often than is healthy for me.

Even though my first approach is avoidance, I know that eventually I will have to face whatever the situation is. Sometimes I come to this place of acceptance sooner than other times.

You see, avoidance leads to a lot of anxiety. Every time I have to interact with that person, I worry about it, or try to hide that I’m upset. And that just sucks.

Or I avoid seeing the person because I don’t want to deal with the conflict. Which is also weird and awkward in a lot of cases.

And sometimes, avoiding conflict also leads to me avoiding, oh, everything.

I’ve had a lot of conflict in my life recently. It’s an energy drain, a leak. Which is why I’ve been working to clean up as much of the conflict as I can. Because I really don’t like being in conflict with others. Remember how I said I’m a peace-maker at heart?

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t written in a couple of weeks. Avoiding conflict takes a lot of energy, and cleaning it up takes a lot, too. And yet, I feel like it’s extremely important to do it.

Do you have anything left unsaid that is draining your energy?



4 Responses

  1. Nodding. Yep.
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  2. I have a serious problem with conflict avoidance too, but this weekend I had a small victory. Instead of bottling up my pissed-offedness at him, I told my husband I was upset with him and why, and we had a good, productive discussion that didn’t devolve into a fight.

    When I’m in partnership with someone my conflict avoidance is part and parcel with my need to be a Perfect Partner, as well as my inability to tell when someone is angry with me. So I’m guilty of often bottling up emotions instead of dealing with them in a productive way — because if I express my emotions, I’m no longer the Perfect Partner, and if we have a conflict, they might leave. I’ve been working really hard to get my lizard brain to CALM. DOWN. and let my logical brain take over, because I know that even if hubs and I do get into a fight, and it sucks, it will make us stronger, not weaker. He’s in it for the long run. I need to remind myself of that, and tell my serious abandonment issues to calm their tits.

    Also, I was kinda reflecting while reading your post…it occurs to me that conflict avoidance in one’s personal life is not really surprising if one is marginalized in any way. If you’re a woman and constantly dealing with sexism/queer and dealing with queerphobia/trans and dealing with transphobia, etc etc etc, avoiding conflict is often the safer option, but not only that, if you’ve committed yourself to speaking out against bigotry and oppression, then you are constantly in conflict with society at large/people who, y’know, don’t want bigotry to end because it benefits them (even though they probably don’t see it that way at all).

    So I think part of my conflict avoidance is also because I spend so much time talking about stuff, trying to raise awareness, that I’m constantly in conflict with society at large and the systems that keep us oppressed (and even if one isn’t an activist, simply *existing* as a marginalized person means one is constantly in conflict with society at large). It’s exhausting. So when the thought of bringing something up with someone else that might result in an uncomfortable discussion or even a fight comes up, I’m like, uh, no pls.


    Anyway, yeah. Working on getting better with this. Starting in my marriage.

    (The first 7 months of married life have been amazing, btw.)
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  3. Er…the first 8 months of married life. I cannot count, apparently.
    Morag Spinner recently posted..What cannot be said will be wept

  4. It’s just gone by faster than you thought!

    I’m not marginalized nearly as much as others, and I don’t advocate as much as many I know, including you. I do know, though, that when it comes to authority figures, or perceived authority figures, I have more challenges addressing conflict or potential conflict.

    Oh, and thank you for the work you do. {{{hugs}}}