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.