Yes, no, maybe... Some love it, some hate it, some avoid it, but some or other time we are all faced with it!
I personally do not like conflict and that’s probably the yellow in me. I just want everyone to get along... No drama; no issues; one big happy family; let’s just hug it out and move along! But, we live in the real world and not my “yellow world” and conflict is real! At one point or another, whether you like it or not, we all have to deal with it.
So how do you deal with it?
Well, there are probably hundreds of different ways... Anita has an endless list on how to deal with conflict, but I think ultimately you are the only one that can deal with your own conflict. Whether it will be effective or not is another story, but it will need to be dealt with or else it will fester like a sore, and holding onto anger and hurt for too long becomes a stinky, emotional wound that starts to fester and it is guaranteed to eventually EXPLODE!
So… a personal experience. One day a colleague, who had become a friend, and I literally just stopped talking. We became strangers overnight and instead of us being grown-ups and dealing with it, we both just chose to ignore it - “denial”, “avoidance”, “disengaged”. We just pretended nothing was wrong and just carried on! We do work together and this made the situation more difficult, but when we needed to talk “work” we did. We only spoke when it was required or necessary. Quite sad, the yellow in me was dying to ask “WTF?”. I really wanted to know what the problem was, but thought “if you can write me off just like that, so can I!”. Tit-for-tat it was and carried on for months. It took a third party to intervene and we eventually had no choice but to deal with our problem. We had a good ending; we hashed it out; kissed and made-up. But, when I think about it now, it was such a stupid, stupid thing! You don’t realise just how powerful “perceptions” and “assumptions” are! If we had just spoken and addressed the elephant in the room, it would have saved us from a lot of hurt - including uncomfortable and tension-filled moments!
So why don’t we just deal with stuff as they come up? Because it’s easier said than done: that’s why you can never totally avoid conflict. “Conflict avoidance has its limits too.”
Just deal with it... Before it deals with you!