Why Avoiding Conflict Can Be Worse Than Fighting

By Rachel Vanni

I hate conflict. Something pretty funny for a lawyer to say, but this dislike for fighting is what drove me towards the mediation field. I’m not saying I won’t partake in a back-and-forth conversation with someone who disagrees with me, but I try to keep it light. In my personal life, I tend to avoid conflict whenever possible, especially in relationships and friendships. But this is also something I don’t actually like about myself. Why? Because conflict is important.

 

Tackling conflict helps you develop better communication skills.

Communication skills are like a muscle, you need to use them or you lose them. I feel like a lot of people have realized this recently as we return back to our social lives post-COVID. It can feel like you don’t even know how to talk to people anymore. I remember feeling really tongue-tied when I tried to have a conversation in person for the first time. When you avoid conflict over and over, you can start to lose the ability to deal with it altogether. Being able to communicate something you disagree with and resolve an issue is vital in building deep, meaningful relationships. You don’t want to lose that.

 

Speaking your mind builds self-confidence.

Can you imagine never disagreeing with anyone but holding your beliefs inside, forever? Sounds stressful, and not to mention it can make you feel that your feelings don’t matter. You should feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with family and friends, even if it may rock the boat sometimes. You deserve to be heard and by sharing with others, you will be more understood.

 

You will stew in suppressed feelings.

When you don’t get disagreements out in the open, they tend to stew inside. Do you know what they turn into? Resentment. It is a recipe for relationship disaster. No one can read your mind. If you have something you are upset about, it is better for the health of your friendship, relationship, or marriage to talk it out. If you feel you can’t talk about it with the other person, that should be a red flag that perhaps they aren’t someone you should invest time in.

 

You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.

This is true. I think picking your battles is a great strategy for every relationship. I know I’m not perfect and I definitely mess up, say the wrong thing, or heck, sometimes I’m just in a bad mood. It is important for spouses to recognize that sometimes you just need to bow out and give space. That’s a great strategy for anyone in any situation, especially on social media. However, if you don’t attend ANY arguments, ever, people can start to wonder where you are.

 

Mediation is a perfect place to discuss conflict and create a mutually beneficial agreement. Call West Coast Family Mediation at (858) 736-2411 today to schedule your free mediation consultation. 

 

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