And the truth is that almost no one does. That really isn’t a problem unless you use the idea that you don’t like conflict to avoid dealing with it when it does occur.
Avoiding conflict only makes it grow.
You can’t have a successful relationship without having “conflict”. That means you and the other person will not likely agree on everything – there will be differences.
And you may think of those differences as “conflict”.
In order to reduce differences, or provide conflict resolution, there is always risk. This is because successful relationships in general require risk.
What most people mean when they say they don’t like conflict is that the risk required for conflict resolution makes them uncomfortable.
It’s time to learn to manage conflict instead of avoiding it.
The natural cycle of relationship is harmony, conflict and repair; this cycle has risk as a natural component of all parts including harmony.
Understanding this will help you be willing to take the risk of repairing your relationship when there is conflict instead of ignoring it.
There are two primary risks in relationship and both are important in conflict resolution.
Whenever you state what you want, you risk possible disappointment, even outright rejection and you introduce the possibility of changing the status quo.
The upside of finding your voice and asking for what you want is that you truly cannot expect to get whatever it is unless you are willing to state it and then actively work to get it.
Asking for what you want is particularly important in conflict resolution conversations. Many of these conversations go astray because the other person is trying to provide what is needed without knowing what it really is.
When you start a discussion, help the other person know if you are looking for advice, to have your feelings understood or for active problem–solving.
You are always more likely to get your needs met when you are clear about stating what they are.
The second type of risk taking in a relationship is about expressing your feelings. When you do this, there is always the chance your feelings will be misunderstood or worse, that your feelings will be shamed.
Take this risk!
It is actually one way that you will discover whether the person you are in relationship with really values who you are.
If they do, your relationship will be better because of your risk as they will know you better.
If they don’t value you, that will become obvious and you can then decide what, if anything, to do about that.
The trick with expressing your feelings is that most people don’t know how to do it.
You express your opinions,
you share your thoughts,
and then you skip right over the part that says what emotions you have about all that.
When expressing your feelings, name the emotions – use words like happy, disappointed, angry, sad, ashamed – so that the other person is actually learning about you as a person.
Ask for the other person’s feelings as well – not just their thoughts and opinions.
Of course, you want the people you are in relationship with to experience positive emotions so it is important to share with each other how behavior impacts each person’s emotions.
If you don’t know what REALLY pleases each other, you will have more conflict in the relationship.
Conflict resolution requires this type of communication to sustain long-term change.
If you can move towards conflict using these tips instead of avoiding it, your relationships will improve.
And that leads to LESS conflict in the future rather than more!