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Mead High School’s Student News

The Mav

Mead High School’s Student News

The Mav

Fear of conflict is common—here are some ways to overcome it

Learning to manage conflict avoidance and discover strategies will help in overcoming this fear
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Unsplash—GR Stocks
Fearing conflict in a workspace can cause disruption, take you off task, and distract you from the work that needs to be completed.

What is fearing conflict? What does it look like? People fear conflict for many reasons. Some people are scared of getting hurt or getting rejected. Others are genuinely just afraid of the conflict itself. It is commonly seen as a negative experience that will lead to drama and pain.  

The fear of conflict is common, especially in those with social anxiety. You may worry about saying something that others will disagree with or you may have a general fear of doing things that will annoy or bother the other person.

Mead counselor Ms. McIntosh said,  “It can be really hard to stand up for yourself. We fear that others will be mad at us, or that it will make both sides feel crummy. We worry that it’ll affect the relationship we have with a specific person. Who really wants to be called out on anything?” 

Conflict doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Positive conflict can look like many different things—when you create a positive environment and have a positive mindset going into any sort of conflict, it can produce new ideas and solve continuous problems. It allows us to verbalize our needs comfortably, teaches us flexibility and to listen, and helps us practice our communication skills and how to set limits. When discovering how to go into conflict the correct way, the fear of it is no longer a fear and it can become a learning lesson.

According to this Healthline article, conflict can be avoided best by doing the following: “reframe from confrontation, make a plan before going into any conflict, use your senses to quickly relieve yourself from stress, resolve your issues in real-time instead of bringing issues in from the past, and make sure to recognize and manage your feelings.”

McIntosh said, in her opinion, “Sometimes it’s nice to have a third person, not bringing a buddy to be 2 on 1 against another friend but someone who can kind of help and manage the conversation. She also said, “Before going into a situation, make a list of the things you want to say and bring up so that you say everything you want to and aren’t walking away, forgetting to mention important things.”

It is important to recognize what you fear when going into conflict with another person. Finding yourself in an environment that you are comfortable in and what strategies help you feel comfortable can help make the situation and the conflict positive and not so scary to go into. Conflict is hard for every person, and everyone has at some point been scared to fight or argue with anyone whether that be in school or at work, in relationships, friendships, and elsewhere.

Make sure you understand exactly what your feelings are. If they are affecting your ability to stay on task with something important or are blocking you from doing your best, make sure you address these feelings. 

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About the Contributor
Ana Stewart, Writer
Ana Stewart is a senior. She enjoys outdoor activities, hanging out with family and friends, and binging The Good Place. She is involved in club volleyball and travels to lots of cool places. She is looking forward to writing interesting articles for The Mav and spreading school spirit this year. 
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