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Conflict Avoidant? Here’s What It’s Costing You

I’m bad at confronting people  — I don’t always choose the right words because I’m so nervous about having the conversation in the first place —  but I’m even worse at suffering in silence.

So when something’s up between me and someone else I just have to say something, even though it’s guaranteed to be awkward and uncomfortable (at least for me).

That discomfort is definitely the downside of approaching conflict head-on. But there’s an upside as well: No matter what happens, the “relationship rug” stays nice and flat, because there’s nothing swept under it. It’s easier to walk on without all kinds of bumps from long-ago problems that were never ironed out.

As I always do, I got inspired by my students at a recent assertiveness training. I decided to write about the ever-popular pastime of avoiding conflict, and point out that doing so is never free.

Here are a few thoughts on The Hidden Cost of Conflict Avoidance. As usual, I’d love to know what you think.

 

About Tina Gilbertson

Tina Gilbertson is a psychotherapist, speaker and author based in Denver, Colorado. She specializes in supporting parents of estranged adult children through therapy, consulting and other resources, and offers assertiveness training and executive coaching for organizations. The author of "Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them" and the "Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children," Tina is often featured in the media as an expert on communication and relationships. Her blog on PsychologyToday.com is called "Constructive Wallowing."

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