Is Avoiding Conflict Helping You?

by | May 8, 2012

There is no shame in having communication and relationship problems, and one of the fastest ways to work through them is to try some couples therapy in Orange County. Anything that can positively affect you and the people around you will help you live a more fulfilling life.

It\’s against human nature to want to argue about things. We tend to shy away from such discussions in order to keep peace, and some people go farther than others when it comes to avoiding conflict. Even though we are often reminded about how being loud and accusatory can hurt a relationship within just a single conversations, the pitfalls from staying completely quiet and not sticking up for yourself can be just as harsh and in some ways even worse. The truth is that the opposite is true – engaging in good, healthy discussions can nurture a relationship, even when those discussions aren\’t always pleasant.

“Ducking” can happen to anyone, as both sexes have been known to duck, so don\’t think just because of your gender you\’re immune. Basically, avoiding conflict is incredibly simple: it just involves refusing to talk about a problem or an issue between you and a friend, spouse, or just another person. It may even include complaining to friends about the issue, or becoming passive-aggressive with a partner without actually talking about the issue itself. When the issue does come up in active conversation, jokes are sometimes made, or the ducker may act like everything is fine to placate the other person. If those don\’t work, there is always another tactic in the bag of tricks that may work to shut down the conversation (such as getting angry) that the avoider may try – and sometimes, they don\’t even know what they\’re actually doing to themselves and their partner.

Regardless of why a person is avoiding conflict, there is never a good reason to do so – leaving an issue to grow and consume a person can only result in harsher and more bitter feelings towards another person when they didn\’t even know the other person had no idea they were there.

So why shouldn\’t you avoid conflict? Here\’s a couple of pretty good reasons you should take a step back and consider talking to an Orange County therapist today.

You\’re volatile in your emotions.  This usually means your emotions are control of you instead of the other way around, and situations build up to become something horrendous for us. Our emotions have to manifest themselves in some manner, and usually when we hold them all in or try to “let everything go” without discussing it, they show themselves in the form of depression and low self-esteem. The other option is an incredibly delicate anger button, and everything irritates us or stomps on our tempers and makes us feel hot headed. This means you\’ll never get to feel like “you”.

Solving problems is almost impossible. We all want to work through our issues. It helps us grow and become better versions of ourselves. So what happens when you act like those problems don\’t exist? Nothing, and that\’s not healthy for anyone involved. Just because you don\’t talk about an issue means that all of your issues go away – and usually another issue is created in the meantime which makes you angry and bitter. It never ends well.

You allow others to think their behavior is okay. If a person does something that makes you upset – say, they refuse to give up smoking when you have children around – when you don\’t approach the issue, you\’re allowing them to continue their dangerous behavior. Even if you do bring it up, they learn that all they have to do is put up a stink or talk to you in a certain way and they get their way – even when they aren\’t bad people. Letting them form this habit is bad for both parties involved.

Your kids use your behavior as an example. Our children will either learn to do exactly what we do or exactly the opposite, neither of which can truly foster a good relationship with a spouse or friend. It may even teach your kids that the way to get what they want is to treat someone the way you are treated – and they may begin to bully other kids or significant others. Continuing the toxicity from generation to generation will not help anyone in any way.

Throwing yourself under the bus every single day can be compared to avoiding conflict. Learning the costs of avoiding conflict – and the benefits of not doing so – can be vital in making you a more confident and reasonable person. You deserve the best from yourself and from those around you, so do yourself a favor and act like you do.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional.  If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch.  You can reach her here:


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If you’re seeking compassionate guidance and professional support to navigate life’s challenges, Nancy’s Counseling Corner is here for you. Our dedicated counseling services are designed to provide personalized care that addresses your unique needs and goals. Whether you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, relationship issues, or seeking personal growth, Nancy is committed to helping you find your path to wellness.

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To schedule an appointment or to learn more about how counseling can benefit you, contact us today. You can reach Nancy directly through email at or call us at +1(949) 510-9423. We’re here to support you on your journey to a happier, healthier life.

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