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How to Deal with a Conflict Avoidant Spouse: 5 Ways

Withdrawing and shying away from confrontation is a common one. Some people may also vehemently protest whenever things don’t go their way or resort to blaming other people to avoid responsibility for their actions. Competitors come across as aggressive, autocratic, confrontational and intimidating. A competitive style is an attempt to gain power and pressure a change. Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners.

Couples counseling is an important way to improve their communication and work on communicating in healthy ways. Choose where you want to go in to address something, if something is worth it, and if it will help. Sometimes it will, sometimes how to deal with someone who avoids conflict it won’t – be wise in discerning which is which. Remember and remind yourself that conflict will not kill you. It may feel like it will end you because the discomfort of finding ourselves in discord with another is not pleasant.

Conflict avoidance destroys trust.

The conflict avoidant person will make themselves uncomfortable in order to not make anyone else upset or uncomfortable. In a healthy relationship, you and your partner can communicate openly about what is bothering you and what is going well in the relationship. It’s important to not only talk about the problems in the relationship, but also the positives so no one feels like they are doing everything wrong. If you can’t express your feelings without fear of retaliation from your partner or them getting overly upset and defensive, then you may be in an abusive relationship. Conflict avoidance occurs due to uncomfortable feelings being stirred up in someone when a disagreement occurs.

how to deal with someone who avoids conflict

Have some compassion, patience and empathy for yourself and this learned behavior and remind yourself that you’re taking new actions, which will become new habits over time. But I’ve also found that being a conflict avoider can be from what you didn’t see as a kid. For example, in my house growing up I never saw may parents argue. Any disagreement, no matter how small, was behind closed doors so I used to actually think my parents never fought! I inadvertently learned that a successful relationship (they were married 54 years when my dad died) meant that you didn’t argue at all!

Conflict avoidance hurts your relationship because it hurts you.

My goal for you is to become «conflict competent» — in other words, to become a nonjudgmental, thoughtful and insightful listener. You will not feel compelled to run away from conflict but rather embrace it with confidence. You will deepen trusting relationships, develop new opportunities, and stop spending time and emotional energy avoiding conflict. Many stress-related illnesses spring from suppressed feelings and bottled-up frustrations.

  • You may have come from a family where everyone fussed, cussed, and discussed while your spouse may be more reserved.
  • It is not uncommon for you or the other person to have multiple interests.
  • The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
  • From Cain and Abel to Sarah and Hagar to Joseph and his brothers, the Old Testament biblical narratives are rife with stories of people handling conflict poorly, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Sometimes people take any negative action from a partner and blow it up into a personality flaw. Denying responsibility may seem to alleviate stress in the short run, but creates long-term problems when partners don’t feel listened to and unresolved conflicts and continue to grow. Getting burned before is a pretty quick way to teach you to avoid fights. “[Conflict-avoidant https://ecosoberhouse.com/ folks] learned the hard way that the stress of confrontation makes them uncomfortable, so they avoid it the way a kid who touches a hot stove learns not to do so in future,” Masini says. If you have a tendency to attach in your relationships by avoiding confrontation and connection, or are prone to secrets, you may have some avoidant tendencies you learned in childhood.

What People Who Are Avoiding Conflict May Not Realize

Discussing superficial topics can become strained and difficult as bottled up feelings and resentment eventually need an outlet. Instead of just avoiding conflict, you might end up avoiding your partner altogether. Tension lying just beneath the surface can be strongly felt. Superficial conversation can begin to feel meaningless, and you might avoid communicating with your partner at all.

how to deal with someone who avoids conflict

This stands in the way of true conflict resolution and increases the level of conflict. Direct conflict might not be your style, especially when the room is stacked against you. You might value making sure the situation is as safe as possible before you start asserting what you need.

When individuals have differing lifestyles, values, and schedules the need to discuss their differences is critical in managing conflict. You must develop a balanced plan of give and take that satisfies everyone’s interests. View the problem as a specific behavior or set of circumstances rather than attributing negative feelings to the whole person. This approach makes the problem more manageable and hopeful than deciding you “can’t stand” this person any longer.