culture Understanding The Mental Health Toll Of Avoiding Conflict Short-term satisfaction isn't worth the long-term damage. Tenor
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Few among us relish the opportunity to pick a fight, but a trend in recent years has taken conflict avoidance to a new — and, as experts advise, unhealthy — new level.

We’ve heard of it in a number of scenarios, most notably in the practice that has become known as “ghosting.” While it might feel good in the short term to simply cut off communication with people we don’t want to confront, it can have some long-lasting negative consequences.

What to know about the current situation

Although humans have always looked for ways to limit the amount of animosity in our lives, the digital age has made it easier and arguably more necessary than ever. Here are a few key statistics to consider:

  • As of 2020, more than 1 in 4 U.S. adults had completely cut off contact with a relative.
  • A Chinese survey last year indicated that COVID-19 amplified anger in response to even slight threats.
  • British researchers found that young people are dealing with increased competition and pressures that previous generations did not.

Why you should fight the urge to hide

With the proliferation of social media allowing people to remain sequestered in like-minded groups, it’s easier than ever for us to avoid addressing topics that make us feel threatened or uncomfortable.

Knowing how to confront these situations in a constructive manner, however, can be highly beneficial to everyone involved.

According to Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Eugene Beresin, practicing the art of resolving conflict “requires building interpersonal skills that are essential for loving and effective relationships.”

In addition to helping you become a better listener and a more tolerant person in general, Beresin said that people can generally see their relationships “become stronger, more enduring, and closer through the resolution of a conflict.”

Chris Agee
Chris Agee January 9th, 2023
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