How to deal with conflict

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Witty_Sarcasm, Aug 26, 2015.

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  1. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    I think I frustrate people because I have no idea how to deal with conflict. I will cry, I will get upset, I will want to hide. I blame myself for everything even if it isn't all my fault. I grew up in a house where people punched holes in walls, knocked each other out, got drunk and fought all night long. I remember being scared and hiding behind chairs when the police would come over to break up fights. My family still is at each others throats constantly, so I never learned the proper way to deal with intense emotions. I feel like a scared little kid when there is arguing. Sometimes when people say "We're not arguing, we're just discussing" it baffles me because it feels like the end of the world and like I am about to lose them. Obviously this causes problems when I take things far more harshly than I need to. So I was wondering if anyone has dealt with anything similar, or any tips on how to deal with fighting or even just discussing things that aren't so pleasant, without turning into an emotional wreck as a result.
  2. Unknown_111

    Unknown_111 Forum Buddy Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    You have to protect yourself from conflict. From my personal perspective I'm like you, I hide and walk away from conflict. I cry a lot thinking I am at fault. I hate conflict like you. On many occasions I have apologised for many others. You learn from conflict that life is about living. Some situations you cannot resolve but you try to learn from the mistakes.
  3. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    I try to avoid conflict as best I can, sometimes it happens though. I just need to toughen up and not let things get me down so easily.
  4. sick2deth

    sick2deth Well-Known Member

    Avoiding conflict just makes it worse in my opinion, Things build up and vent at the wrong time, Wrong place... time and time again. Good communication and theres nothing that can't be dealt with responsibly like adults, Even if most adults act like 5 year olds in tough situations. It's way too easy to get angry, Way too easy just to stick your head in a bucket of sand and what does that achieve...Nothing constructive! Talk, tell each other how you feel about things...Even compromise although some might say compromise is a sign of weakness.
  5. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    I know, talking does help....I can get affected by things easily, but it is best to talk them out instead of avoiding them and letting them build up.
  6. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    I hate conflict. I grew up in a home where arguing could mean broken bones - and even if not, arguing with my parents would mean cold frozen out for weeks and sometimes months of not being spoken to. I learned to avoid conflict and even now conflict makes me feel sick - but it is possible to learn how to manage it.

    The first thing is - it is okay to walk away. If there is shouting or nastiness or insulting - if it is clearly not a constructive discussion - it is okay to walk away.

    It is also important to understand that how you feel is not 'fact'. Talking does help, but you have to be sure that what you are talking about isn't just resentment and anger that has built up because your perception is screwy. I say this because it is clear from your posts that you often feel slighted and will go off at people for ignoring you and not valuing you or abandoning you etc. If someone is genuinely treating you badly - yes talking is the best course of action - asserting yourself and explaining that it is not acceptable to you - but you need to make sure that it is not your own demons creating the issue, because if it is, talking is often more damaging than not. Lashing out at people or even telling people calmly that they are treating you badly can and will push people away if you do it repeatedly and they do not agree with your assessment.

    I would say a resounding yes to talking - communication is key - but never do it emotional or angry. Walk away, calm down, decide what you want to say and then say it. Use "I" statements and avoid being accusatory. Keep your voice low (in volume and pitch) and allow the other person time to talk. I know for myself sometimes I will interpret what the person is saying instead of listening - so I find it useful to say "My interpretation of you saying that you are too tired to talk to me is that I contribute to your exhaustion and you find me hard work - I know that might not be rational so I just wanted to confirm if that interpretation is accurate" (for example).

    Finally - believe the other person. If you value your relationship with the person, believe what they are saying so it remains a discussion and not a fight - nothing is gained from saying "well the evidence suggests otherwise" when someone tells you how they feel or whatever.
  7. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    You're right, I do often take things the wrong way and need to work on it. I need to learn to pick my battles and not react harshly about everything. I don't usually shout back, I tend to shut down though when there is conflict, because it scares me more often than not. It goes back to childhood and how I felt, but I can work through that. Thank you for your advice, it was really helpful :)
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