The Truth About Avoiding Conflict
Is Avoiding Conflict Possible?
People who avoid conflict become extremely uncomfortable at the thought of a disagreement, or of someone getting angry at them. They’d rather placate the person, change the subject or be silent until the other person has finished talking. They’re afraid of what might happen if they assert themselves in the moment.
It’s true that there are some people in the world who are very angry and aggressive. These people may be so difficult, even dangerous, that there’s no point in getting into conflict with them.
Any attempt to reason with someone like this or to make your own point of view known will result in their becoming more aggressive, perhaps even threatening.
With people like this, it might be better to say nothing and to extricate yourself from the situation as soon as possible. Fortunately, these people are in the minority and if you encounter someone like this, it’s best to have as little to do with them as possible.
In most situations, people aren’t so dangerous, and therefore avoiding conflict is the wrong way to go. If someone is starting to insult you or bully you; if they’re trying to coerce you into something you don’t want to do, remaining silent is tantamount to abandoning yourself.
What you think of as “ conflict ” is really just you setting a limit with the other person around their bad behavior. You’re saying “No” to what they want from you or you’re letting them know that they can’t treat you this way.
Engaging in this type of “ conflict ” is actually good self-care. You’re not letting the other person get away with what they’re trying to do. To avoid “conflict” in this case would be to let the other person think that what they’re doing is acceptable and that you’re willing to tolerate their mistreatment of you.
It is unpleasant to be around people who are unreasonable, insulting or aggressive. Sometimes it can be frightening. It’s important to distinguish between someone who is truly unstable and potentially dangerous and someone who is just behaving badly.
With the latter type of individual, you want to engage in “ conflict ” with them, so that they see you as unwilling to be pushed around or insulted by them.
If you avoid conflict and let them continue to behave badly toward you, you’ll suffer more than if you stand up and take care of yourself.
It’s only dangerous to engage in conflict with dangerous people. With the rest of the world, “ conflict ” is what protects you from being abused.
Originally published @ Om Times
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