Originally published on PhiladelphiaMFT.

Conflict avoidance happens in some of our most intimate relationships. Whether it’s with our friends, family or lovers; we tend to avoid tension and difficult conversations with the hopes that it will all go away. However things usually tend to get worse and we miss the opportunity to speak up and resolve conflict before it becomes too far gone. To avoid that happening to you, here are some tips on how to address conflict with others.

1. Recognize Why You’re Avoiding Conflict.

Do you know why you’re avoiding the difficulties in your relationships with others? Most of us by nature hate conflict but pin pointing why you’re going above and beyond to avoid conflict can give you some insight on how to move forward. Are you afraid of speaking up? Do you think the other person will fly off the handle? Or are you fearful of damaging or losing the relationship? Once you understand the “why” you can move on to the “how”.

2. Make A Plan of Action.

After you’ve recognized the “why”, take the proper steps to move past it. If you know that you get tripped up over your words, write out your points before hand and read them over so that you become comfortable with them before you talk with someone. If you tend to get really emotional during your discussions, look up some calming techniques you can use if things get too heated. There are so many ways you can rectify your issue, you just have to take the time out to develop it.

3. Release Your Expectations of the End Result.

You can’t control how someone will react or how a situation will turn out once you address conflict. As uneasy as that may be, once you accept that fact you will be able to be more truthful with your feelings and concerns. The most you can do is control yourself and make sure you do your best on your end to be respectful, honest, and thoughtful in how you speak and respond.

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