Conflict Avoidance

The problem with these situations is that the transgressor shows no sensitivity to the offended. As such, the offended is less apt to exhibit empathy which is key towards forgiveness. As such, research has shown that refusals tend to aggravate situations, rather than serve as a meaningful repair strategy.

Remember that your reputation will precede you, so communicate clearly and professionally. Direct conflict might not be your style, especially when the room is stacked against you. You might value making sure the situation is as safe as possible before you start asserting what you need. Maybe that means waiting until you’re out for coffee in a public place with someone, or only checking in with them once you’re home alone in your bedroom and can text them on your own terms. “It can be difficult to voice honest opinions for fear of being seen as difficult and less desirable than someone who may have avoided the conflict altogether,” Ezelle explains. The easiest way to avoid getting rejected is avoiding saying anything, you figure, so you tend to keep it to yourself. Just because you value keeping things the same, however, doesn’t mean you’re totally fixed in your opinions.

How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts

For example, Rosa and D’Shaun may agree that Casey’s allowance needs to be increased and may decide to give her twenty more dollars a week in exchange for her babysitting her little brother one night a week. In this case, they didn’t make the conflict personal but focused on the situation and came up with a solution that may end up saving them money. The disadvantage is that this style is often time-consuming, and only one person may be willing to use this approach while the other person is eager to compete to meet their goals or willing to accommodate. We can better understand some of the cultural differences in conflict management by further examining the concept of face. The obvious advantage is that both parties are satisfied, which could lead to positive problem solving in the future and strengthen the overall relationship.

Improving Your Ability To Resolve Conflict

Aside from our work life, avoiding conflict can manifest in our romantic relationships, friendships, and even family dynamics. Consequently, understanding how to approach these situations and conversations is important. Here are some ideas on how to address your relative’s drinking in a direct and honest way. Universities worldwide offer programs of study pertaining to conflict How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts research, analysis, and practice. Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo has the oldest-running peace and conflict studies program in Canada. PACS can be taken as an Honors, 4-year general, or 3-year general major, joint major, minor, and diploma. Grebel also offers an interdisciplinary Master of Peace and Conflict Studies professional program.

It may be necessary at some point to distance yourself from the source of the problem. That may include resigning from a position, leaving a research project, or shifting your focus to other activities—a sad situation to be in but one that is preferable to continuing to endure an unpleasant environment. Whether you are writing or speaking to a colleague, think before you do so. If you’re upset and plan to send an email, it is advisable to write a draft and put it aside for a while.

  • Most interactions with colleagues are cordial and are working towards a common goal.
  • By not dealing with the conflict, this style allows the conflict to simmer, potentially resulting in angry or negative outbursts.
  • If you can’t help them without having your boundaries overlooked or without your mental health suffering, you have the right to keep your distance from them.
  • Your awareness of them can help you clear your mind and choose to wait until the moment has passed to tackle the challenge.

The objective is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties. Compromising gives up more than competing but less than accommodating. Likewise, it addresses an issue more directly than avoiding, but does not explore it in as much depth as collaborating. In some situations, compromising might mean splitting the difference between the two positions, exchanging concessions, or seeking a quick middle-ground solution. If you’re dealing with a conflict between two members of your team, it’s important that you get all the facts. Sit down with each individual involved and find out exactly what the issue is.

As the person starts to pull away, they feel the pull from the advantage side to approach the goal. The decision is usually then made after the equilibrium point. However, people stuck in an approach-avoidance conflict might not make a decision at all, or delay one for some time.

Managing Your Emotions

It may be useful when reaching temporary settlement on complex issues and as a first step when the involved parties do not know each other well or have not yet developed a high level of mutual trust. Compromising may be a faster way to solve things when time is a factor.

How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts

We have analyzed the best conflict management styles based on these specific aspects of MBTI® personality types. The approach-avoidance conflict definition can be summarized as a psychological conflict that arises when a goal is perceived as both desirable and undesirable. Someone may grapple with various advantages and disadvantages related to a decision that must be made. The conflict may lead to stress and indecision, including a period of back-and-forth thinking. Extreme uncertainty can plague the thinker in the aforementioned situation, as there are pros and cons for the end goal/decision. Stress may arise because someone has to accept that there will be an advantage they will miss out on no matter what choice is made. Approach-avoidance conflict is experienced by all people at some point, as weighing pros and cons of a situation are common and part of the decision-making process.


Consequently, a neurotic personality is less apt to forgive or to have a disposition of forgivingness. While personality variables and characteristics of the relationship are preexisting to the occurrence of forgiveness, the nature of the offense and social-cognitive determinants become apparent at the time of the transgression.

Whether you want to continue working with the person you wronged or not, it’s best to admit you erred. This is more likely to earn you respect from your colleagues, and in the long run, it will be respect that goes a long way to define you as a scientist . Whether interacting with your peers or not, treat people courteously. Don’t prejudge individuals based on their rank or perceived academic abilities, or worse, their gender, race, or sexual orientation. You have a clear idea of what you want and what you don’t want — but that doesn’t mean you feel the need to assert it in the moment. It feels normal for you to step back and observe what’s going on with other people without necessarily intervening, even on your own behalf.

Ideally, accommodating people can be encouraged to state their needs during conflict management sessions to move toward collaboration. In a team setting, one person may pick up the slack of a co-worker who avoids conflict, which can lead to frustration and resentment. If everyone on the team has an avoidance strategy, productivity is low when a problem arises because no one wants to step up to the plate. Collaborating – cooperating with the other party to understand their concerns and expressing your own concerns in an effort to find a mutually and completely satisfactory solution (win-win). Those who are prone to Feeling empathize with the interests of all parties, create solutions for growth, would rather change than make others change, and focus on accepting and appreciating others in the situation. Those who are prone to Thinking understand the opinions of all parties, create logical alternative solutions, are firm in their stance, and focus on analyzing and tolerating others in the situation. Customers, whether they feel like it or not, are logical humans just like you and me.

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Lack of communication or poor communication are also significant reasons to start a conflict, to misunderstand a particular situation and to create potentially explosive interactions. The frequent and ongoing crises in the Middle East provide a unique opportunity for China’s diplomats to broaden their experience with multilateral global crisis conflict management and mediation. The ability to shape the resolution of international conflicts is central to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s vision of an assertive China taking on more international responsibilities that reflect its status as a great power.

  • Nevertheless, despite the official policy agenda, there has recently been a noticeable rise in Chinese mediation activities in region (e.g., Afghanistan, Syria, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict).
  • Making this decision is difficult, but you need to do what is best for you and your family.
  • To identify interests of the other person, you need to ask questions to determine what the person believes he or she truly needs.
  • The next time you end up in a situation that demands conflict resolution, remember to rely on the compromise and collaborate strategies―together, these approaches ensure that you approach your next conflict in the right way.
  • The pros of this are that you come with a win-win solution, bring in mutual respect and trust, split responsibility equally, and gain a reputation as a good negotiator.

When requesting, we suggest the conflict partner change a behavior. Requesting doesn’t require a high level of information exchange. When we persuade, however, we give our conflict partner reasons to support our request or suggestion, meaning there is more information exchange, which may make persuading more effective than requesting. Rosa could try to persuade D’Shaun to stop giving Casey extra allowance money by bringing up their fixed budget or reminding him that they are saving for a summer vacation. If Rosa is the primary income earner in the family, she could use that power to threaten to take D’Shaun’s ATM card away if he continues giving Casey money. In all these scenarios, the “win” that could result is only short-term and can lead to conflict escalation.


She’s written for The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, Quartz, The Washington Post, and many more. Remember that disagreeing provides deeper understanding and makes it easier to connect with our friends, partners, and co-workers. Rather than endlessly ruminate and allow conflicts to fester in your head, try taking a more assertive approach. Instead of trying to sedate emotions like anger, sadness, or fear, try looking at them through the lens of self-compassion, and allowing yourself to see your negative thoughts with empathy.

In general, strategies that facilitate information exchange and include concern for mutual goals will be more successful at managing conflict . Once a decision has been made and a neutral environment decided upon for the conversation, there are key elements to conducting the conversation. The first step in the conversation is to allow all parties to state their opinions and their perspectives on the conflict.

  • In order to achieve this transformation, the offended must forgo retribution and claims for retribution.
  • If it’s before closing hours, the restaurant will send a complimentary pizza.
  • After the speaker is finished say “Did I understand you correctly that you are saying …?” “Let me see if I have this correctly, …” “From you point of view, the situation is …” Try summarizing, mirroring, or reframing.
  • Taking a new job- If someone is offered their dream job, but the position comes with a drop in pay, they may struggle to make a final decision on the matter.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. She writes often about the intersections between health, wellness, and the science of human behavior.

When your partner never wants to discuss the things that are bothering you, the issues can’t be resolved. Resentment can occur when you feel your needs aren’t being met. It can be difficult for you to have empathy for your partner when you think they don’t understand you.

Tips For Managing Conflict

Listening to staff with sympathy and understanding is unlikely to escalate the problem, and is a widely used approach for helping people cope with problems that interfere with their effectiveness in the workplace. The parties resort to conflict resolution mechanisms, notably arbitration or other legal procedures.

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