Conflict in relationships: Why avoiding argument actually backfires
From growing resentment to avoiding the needs of the partner, here are a few reasons why avoiding arguments can backfire.
Conflicts are unavoidable in a relationship. When two people are emotionally connected, there will be times when they will have disagreements and differences in their perspectives. However, contrary to popular beliefs, conflicts are actually healthy. They help us in understanding the perspectives of each other. With time, people go through changes and conflicts and arguments help us understand the partner better, and vice versa. However, the way we manage conflicts and address the differences determines if the relationship is healthy. "To this day, I have the strong urge to do anything within my power to avoid conflict from arising. In the past, I would even go against my values and beliefs if it meant I could prevent an argument (even if I wouldn't be involved in it). But I've come to understand that conflict is often necessary and that there are healthy and safe ways to argue," wrote Therapist Klara Kernig.
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Klara further noted down the reasons why avoiding arguments and not addressing conflicts in the right time backfires and affects the relationship:
Resentment: When the bottled-up feelings stay within two people without being addressed, they can convert to resentment and frustration over time. This makes the situation worse with people being angry and resentful to each other.
Needs: In a relationship, it is important to understand the needs, wants and expectations that we have for each other. Addressing the conflict in a healthy way helps us to understand the same. When we fail to manage a conflict, we fail to understand the needs of the partner.
Tension: This can give rise to tension in the relationship, impacting the relationship in an unhealthy way.
Growth: When conflicts are not addressed over time, the growth of the relationship can be affected as well.
Problem: We need to understand that it is not us versus the partner – in fact it is us and the partner versus the problem. This outlook will help us to solve problems rather than keeping them bottled up.