How Do You Handle Conflict? - Avoiding & Competing

As Teri pointed out yesterday, conflict is a natural part of relationships. The hard part during conflict is slowing down, taking deep breaths, and really opening your ears and heart to the other person's perspective. Let's look at 2 more ways of handling conflict: Avoiding

This is an unhealthy way to handle conflict, although the majority of people in relationships choose to handle conflict this way. By avoiding, a person is not addressing concerns and not expressing needs. Examples include sidestepping issues, postponing issues until a "better time" (although a better time never seems to come!), or simply withdrawing from your partner.

Competing

This is another unhealthy way to handle conflict. This is pursuing your own concerns at your partner's expense. People who are power-hungry use this mode to control people and manipulate them into getting what the competitor wants. A person who handles conflict this way uses whatever power they can to win their position. They want to "win".

Neither of these two ways of handling conflict "feels" good. If you see yourself in these two ways, ask yourself "Where did I learn to do this?" or "Is this style of conflict really working for me in my relationships?".

Natalie & Joleen have more ways of handling conflict to share with you this week. Thank you for reading!

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.