Avoiding conflict at all costs, costs you big time….


I tend to be one of those people who like avoiding conflict at all costs.  For that reason, I have a hard time saying “no” and don’t know how to stand my ground when conflict does happen.  What do I ask/tell myself (early-on) to help myself not allow myself to get to the frustration tipping point, and develop more confident, clear, solid and holistic communication style/patterns?

— Angela (name changed)

Hi Angela,

Thanks for your question.  One thing to remember is that conflict may not always be about you -personally. It can be anything including the other person’s immediate emotional reaction to you – e.g. tone of voice.  An emotional reaction to you feels like it’s about you but it’s not!

My friend Laurie once was dating – what we all thought was a cool guy; the next thing you know, he’s gone!  When asked, she said every time he got the slightest bit annoyed with her, it sounded just like her own critical dad.

A lot of our behaviors, non-verbals and our reactions to them are habits and leftovers from childhood which is a whole ‘nother set of great places to explore…. That will have to be another post for another day.

Accept others exactly as they are and know when you come with the intention of positive outcomes for all that sometimes you just have to let the past go and say “I did the best I could with the knowledge and permission I had, I will do better next time.”  Giving yourself grace in these situations works wonders not just for you, but for others involved. It reframes your mindset for your next encounter.

The moment you feel a twinge of hurt, frightened or frustrated or the thought that “this isn’t going how I’d hoped” is the time to take a few deep breaths and grab a drink of cool water, if you can and ask yourself is someone hurt, frightened or frustrated? It’s not your job to make it all better – it’s just your job to notice.

Deep, full breathing with extended exhales is a must, the cool water is great to have.

If necessary, excuse yourself. It’s always okay to say “We will have to bookmark this until time / date” or “I need to take a break. I will … be back shortly / call tomorrow / <insert what you will do> to resolve this.

I’ll leave you for today with this favorite quote of mine from Louise Hay “Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.”

Have a great day whatever your adventure.

Warm Regards,

PS: Sharon Says So is a no-cost Q and An opportunity that is open to everyone! I’ll select and personally respond to one question received that I feel in my experience will help the most people. (I change any information that is private including your identity – so all names and specific details have been changed “to protect the innocent” as they say.)

It is my sincerest intention that ~ in answering your questions ~ I may provide you with some insight based on my years of experience and that insight may change your outcomes. Simply submit YOUR burning question at: https://sharonsayler.com/contact-me/ to participate.