How Avoiding Conflict Escalates Conflict in Relationships

Conflict avoidance might seem like the path of least resistance, but it can have serious consequences for your mental and emotional well-being. I mean, suppressing your feelings can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and even physical health problems. Conflict avoidance is a people-pleasing behavior that can negatively impact your relationships whether you like it or not. Understanding the effects of conflict avoidance can help you mitigate them without further damaging your relationships.

The Conflict Avoidant: Two Distinct Types – Psychology Today

The Conflict Avoidant: Two Distinct Types.

Posted: Mon, 12 Sep 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

If you view confrontation in a negative light, you may be overly physiologically aroused during times of conflict. For people who have a fear of confrontation in relationships, what they are fearful of is big emotions. You may avoid confrontation because you imagine it will go poorly or lead to a full-blown fight, but this doesn’t have to be the case. You can express disagreement calmly and respectfully, to address an issue without starting a fight. Being conflict avoidant also impacts our relationships because we’re cutting off all honest communication with the other person.

The Cost of Conflict Avoidance

Additionally, avoiding conflict results in you or your partner not getting your needs met. Rather than taking your partner’s reaction personally, it’s important to acknowledge that they are experiencing the same anxiety and stress that you are, even if it manifests differently. When one person in a relationship avoids conflict while the other prefers to hash things out, it creates significant frustration and stress. Conflict avoidance takes a toll on relationships, leading to tension, hurt, and diminished intimacy. This article explores where conflict avoidance comes from, how it impacts relationships, and what to do about it.

  • When I scratch the surface of these relationships, I often find that each partner has an internal stockpile of resentments that are beginning to erode their loving feelings for each other.
  • This brings up the point of good conflict and bad conflict.
  • The ramifications of such avoidance can manifest in myriad ways.

If you’re struggling with fear of confrontation, you do not have to suffer in silence. Opening up to your partner and being vulnerable can increase your intimacy and develop a stronger sense of understanding between the two of you. how to deal with someone who avoids conflict Over time, this physiological reaction can cause you to avoid conflict altogether because you don’t want to experience these symptoms. Confrontation avoidance can develop because of the body’s physiological reaction to stress.


Conflict avoidance is a prevalent issue in relationships. It can be damaging to the connection of a relationship if it is left unaddressed. By being aware of the signs of conflict avoidance and using these tips for dealing with conflict healthily, you can start to have healthier and more productive conversations with your partner. As you can see conflict avoidance negatively affects multiple areas of your relationship, but it can also affect your personal health. When people bottle up their feelings, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Suppressed emotions can also lead to physical problems like heart disease and high blood pressure.

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