Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avoiding Conflict

Have you ever noticed that those who avoid conflict are usually people who do not talk and do not express their feelings?

The person who avoids conflict is uncomfortable being in the presence of people who are talking and expressing their feelings at the same time. Typically the person who avoids conflict grew up in a home where there was conflict. As a result, they learned that the expression of feelings will lead to conflict, and thus, feelings cannot be expressed. Conflict is associated with feeling bad (scolded) and leads to feeling like you have failed for disappointing another.

Conflict need not be avoided. Instead it is essential for talking and expressing your feelings to others. Even if there is disagreement, much is gained from moving through a conflict to gain agreement or at best, understanding. The ability to stay present and available while you or someone else is talking and expressing feelings is an important life skill. It leads to healthy communication and strong interpersonal relationships.

It is safe to talk and to feel.      

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