Avoiding Conflict – Does It Create Less Stress or More Stress?

I don’t like conflict.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good strong discussion or even a debate. When I say conflict, I’m talking about a disagreement that creates hostility or anger. Those kinds of emotions cause me to withdraw and shutdown. Therefore, I try to avoid circumstances that might bring that out in another person.

I’m the peacekeeper type. “Let’s just keep everyone happy and avoid anxiety and stress.”

For the most part, I feel like my avoidance of conflict is a good thing. I’m an easy going person. I don’t place a lot of demands on others and generally am okay with going with other’s preferences. But…

There’s always a ‘but,’ isn’t there?

But…sometimes I get in the habit of simply letting others have their way and saying yes instead of no, even when I do have a preference in a matter. When I do that continually, over time, my own personal needs don’t get met and resentment builds up. All of sudden, I’m feeling very stressed because of my attempts to avoid the stress of conflict.

Balance. I’m always trying to find balance between extremes.

It’s okay to avoid conflict about things that don’t really matter, but I need to remember not to let it become a habit of stuffing my own desires automatically. I also need to remember that other people are not to blame for my choices to deny myself. After all, I am a grownup and no one is forcing me to do this or do that, even if they make it uncomfortable. I am responsible for my own life and my own happiness.

Well, that’s my lecture to myself today. How about you?

How do you deal with conflict? Are you a peacekeeper like me or do you immediately speak your mind regardless of how others may react?

Would love to hear your comments