How to NOT Be Conflict Avoidant

If the aggressor was served a meal he or she didn’t like, he or she would call the server and verbally berate him or her for serving such a lousy meal. Nonassertive people may complain, but usually do nothing to gain control in their argumentative environment, because they fear they will lose from additional conflict encounters. You ask for the steak to be cooked medium, but when the meal is served, the steak is rare. Instead of sending the steak back, the nonassertive person will eat it (but not like it), pick at it, or let it sit. When asked by the server if everything is okay, the nonassertive person will respond by saying yes.

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Posted: Wed, 01 Nov 2023 17:20:51 GMT [source]

However, conflict prevention can also take the form of withdrawing from the relationship. Thus, avoidance scenarios can be either win-lose, lose-lose or possibly even win-win, if terminating the relationship is the best method of solving the problem. There are times when it is more difficult to approach or resolve conflicts, such as if one of the parties is very emotionally heightened, attacking, or defensive. Good conflict resolution relies on problem-solving, which involves self-regulation and emotional regulation. When emotions are heightened, or if the context is otherwise unsupportive (e.g., if there is no space or time to explore a situation in detail) it may be more beneficial to postpone conversations or attempts to approach conflicts. However, in many cultures and social situations, conflict avoidance is seen as a valid conflict management strategy and may actually benefit people by creating greater social cohesion, acceptance by peers, and group harmony.

If the conflict appears unresolvable

To avoid any misunderstandings or your colleague feeling that you are judging them or making assumptions, be as objective in your approach as possible. Focus on the actual events that occurred and what you saw personally, not a rumor that you heard from someone else, or a guess about why you think they chose to take that action. When a group of people work together, it’s inevitable that, sooner or later, there’s going to be disagreement over how things get done. But conflicts among team members must not always lead to low morale, plunging productivity, or bitter feelings.

  • Handling these small situations politely but firmly can help you build confidence.
  • Sharing a life with a partner who is self-serving and hurtful may not be worth it.
  • Separate interviews with each complainant revealed that, in addition to their co-worker’s hacking cough, they were turned off by her bad attitude.
  • I’m nothing – you are superior.” Passive people live in a Lose/Win situation.
  • Alternatively, a partner who shirks disclosing selfish or hurtful behaviors to avoid a fight may be evading accountability.

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What Is the Avoiding Conflict Management Style & When Should You Use It?

Moreover, the goal looms larger effect may differ based on one’s chronic or situational regulatory focus. According to regulatory focus theory by Tory Higgins, goal-directed behavior is regulated by two distinct motivational systems. These two systems, termed promotion and prevention, each serve different survival-relevant concerns. The promotion system is conceived of as orienting the individual toward obtaining nurturance and is thought to underlie higher-level concerns with accomplishment and achievement. In contrast, the prevention system is considered to orient the individual toward obtaining safety and is thought to underlie higher-level concerns with self-protection and fulfillment of responsibilities. The need to avoid a conflict with a partner who is unable to consider an opposing point of view may be a smart option.

The hallmark of flighters, he says, is that, when conflicts arise, their first impulse is to acquiesce. Flighters may hide behind closed office doors, camp out in front of their computer screens or bury themselves in busywork to avoid conflict. These stone-faced flighters have mastered the art of the silent treatment. Misunderstandings like the one that led to our fight occur because people tend to be naïve realists. We believe that we see social interactions as they truly are, and that other people see them the same way that we do. If you aren’t sure where to begin, seeing a mental health counselor or a couples counselor for support may be best.

Ways To Resolve Conflict With A Difficult Colleague

Conflict avoidance is a type of people-pleasing behavior that typically arises from a deep rooted fear of upsetting others. I apologised for my role in the conflict and told him what I didn’t like about his how to deal with someone who avoids conflict behaviour. While he didn’t respond (thus avoiding the conflict), I was able to briefly approach it in a way that felt right, but was then able to drop it — allowing us both the capacity to move past it.

More recently, approach and avoidance motivation is defined as a function of valence, where approach behavior is directed toward a positive or desirable event, and avoidance… Active listening is a crucial part of conflict resolution and giving difficult feedback in the workplace. When you practice this communication technique, you as the listener drop all preconceived opinions and listen non-judgementally to your colleague’s perspective. Instead of listening to respond, you listen to understand and you ask open-ended questions to get a fully-rounded picture.

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