The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Conflict avoidance

The desire to avoid conflict is part of human nature. Human beings are social beings, it comes with a basic understanding, that we are better off in a group.

The easy conclusion there is, that there must be a good reason to engage in a conflict. In any other case, it seems to be better to avoid the discomfort of a conflict.

For many, the ability to avoid immediate discomfort becomes the norm. They either decide to accept the discomfort and feel unhappy, or they decide that the other is making their life so uncomfortable that the person needs to be avoided altogether.

They don’t develop the tolerance to accept a conflict. Nor do they pay attention to the long-term consequences of avoiding the discomfort of the conflict.

What they don’t pay attention to in that moment, is the relationship between them and the group, or between them and another person. They underestimate the discomfort establishing itself in these relationships as a result of their conflict avoidance. And they underestimate how their avoidance of a conflict becomes a selfish decision others will experience as a power play.

Whenever this happens, a conflict erupting may easily become one of winning or losing. It becomes a fight of egos.

The option they have not made themselves aware of is their care for the existing relationship. One they could have addressed by uncovering questions, wants, and desires that have remained under the surface and called acceptance.

Acceptance doesn’t mean agreeing. However, it can’t be used to hide disagreement.





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