Conflict Avoidance

photo by j. gaddis

How long will you keep not telling someone something because you are afraid of their reaction?

If you dig deeper here, you’ll find that you are really afraid to feel whatever you’ll have to feel seeing their reaction.

So, if you are willing to get more honest, you begin to see that you are protecting them on one level, and at deeper level, you are protecting yourself.

By withholding your truth, you also rob them of their opportunity to grow having heard or experienced your truth telling. This is you not trusting they can handle their own journey, which is disempowering to them.

Since most of us grew up with no great role models around how to do conflict, it’s understandable why we hold back. It probably didn’t go well in our homes. All the more reason to treat ‘sharing my withholds’ as a new practice.

If we treat ‘telling the truth’ with those we are close to as a practice, we give ourselves room and permission to make mistakes and not be perfect. Then we can practice not protecting ourselves or them. We practice trusting that we, and they, can handle it even if it might be hard.

The Practice?

  • Is it worth it? Ask yourself if you want to move closer to this person? Is there more for you to gain or learn from this relationship?
  • Extend and reach out. Write down five names right now and commit to moving closer to them by sharing your truth by a certain date.
  • Lead with vulnerability and be willing to see what happens and what you both learn about yourselves by sharing your withhold.
  • Get help. If you get stuck in the weeds, get support, hire help, or keep telling the truth about what is so.
  • Read the more detailed post coming soon about “how” to clear conflict.

The greatest part about leaning into conflict? It helps us awaken to who we really are. We begin to see all the ways we keep love out and are not willing to be whole. We feel the impact of our behavior on another. Bottom line? We see ourselves more clearly and then get to choose if we prefer to believe our stories or see through them.

If you commit to leaning into it, and staying in relationship, it might just bring you and your friend, co-worker, or lover, closer. The hidden benefit here is that we learn to accept ourselves even more.


And, tune into a great free online workshop on this subject here.


  • Helen barnett

    Reply Reply March 14, 2017

    I regretfully have to ask you to give my reserved spot to someone else as my relationship has ended. You can’t make things right or better with someone that just doesn’t want you nor have any desire to work on the relationship. I’ve been cheated on, lied to, treated like my feelings are completely irrelevant and crushed way too much. Sometimes I feel as tho I can’t breathe, can’t catch my breath! I regret having to give up my spot, I do apologize. Heartbroken in Alabama!!

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