I recently read somewhere (sorry, I don´t remember where exactly) that in order to keep healthy relationships, you need to have uncomfortable conversations every once in a while. This applies to all kinds of relationships.
It makes sense, right? Disagreements and conflict are inherent to human beings, and it´s the way we manage them that makes the difference.
But, what happens when you´re so afraid of conflict that you try to avoid it at all costs?
Hello, my name is Bea, and I´m a conflict avoider.
I´ve spent many years tiptoeing through life in order not to bother anyone, not to create conflict. Many years acting as if certain problems did not exist, in the hope that they would sort themselves out.
So, you can imagine what happens, right? They DON´T sort themselves out, even though sometimes it looks like they do. To really solve a problem you have to bring it out into the light, you have to talk about it, otherwise the discomfort stays there, under the surface, until the day it inevitably comes out again.
So, what can we do then? Three things come to mind:
- Accept conflict as something natural: we each have our own needs, opinions and ways to do things, which sometimes clash with those of other people.
- Not take it personally: one thing that helps a lot is focusing on the problem itself, instead of what we perceive that the other person “is doing to us”.
- Find a good way to communicate, so that we can convey our needs and wants to the other person, and listen to theirs, in a respectful and non-violent way.
When my daughters were small, I used to play for them a song in Spanish by Miliki, the lyrics translate to something like “Talking is how people understand each other, and that way everything works better…” Nowadays I still sing it to them sometimes, and also to myself, as a reminder that none of us are mind readers, and that issues need to be talked about.
And you? Do you also avoid conflict? What uncomfortable conversation have you been trying to avoid?