For many people, conflict can cause significant emotional turbulence. In fact, it can be so upsetting that it causes some to drink or use drugs. Many recovering addicts recognize that it was the conflicts with family, friends, or coworkers that contributed to their addiction.
However, there’s a power that comes with knowing yourself. For instance, if you know that you tend to be confrontational and perhaps even instigate fights, especially when you’re drunk or high, it might lead you to make different choices in the future. You might not be as confrontational, and instead choose to talk calmly with the person who upset you, once your emotions have settled down.
Knowing what your conflict management style is can help you with having healthy relationships. You can make choices in relationships that are respectful of yourself, others, and the relationship itself. There are typically four different types of conflict management styles. When faced with a conflict in relationship, people tend to fall within one of the following five categories.
Competitive – Those with this style of conflict management tends to use force and competition to get what they want. They are goal oriented and make relationships less of a priority when dealing with conflict. They can be authoritative, and even intimidating. They can be aggressive and uncooperative. This conflict management style can create hostility and resentment in others. However, one advantage to this style is that it can be useful when an urgent decision needs to be made.
Avoidant – Those with this style of conflict management tend to avoid or withdraw from conflict. They would rather hide or ignore the problem versus solving it. They can be unassertive and passive within relationships. Those with this conflict management style tend to give up their personal goals to preserve the relationship. Although this style might help to keep relationships intact, it can be unhealthy because those with this style might be considered doormats. Furthermore, conflicts within relationships are rarely resolved if they are never faced and discussed.
Accommodating – Those with this management style tend to be accommodating when faced with conflict. They might give into others too easily, like being avoidant, they might give up their own personal goals for the sake of the relationship. They might get taken advantage of by others. Although the relationship might be preserved, it comes at a cost to the one who is accommodating too much.
Compromising – Those who have this management style tend to compromise their own goals while expecting the other person to compromise some of theirs. Those with this style might be more assertive and it’s possible that conflicts may get resolved. They are willing to face conflicts but tend to compromise themselves in order to reach a resolution.
Collaborating – Those with this management style tend to want to collaborate with others in order to find the solution to conflict. They view conflicts as something to be solved versus something to avoid or ignore. They attempt to find solutions that are agreeable to everyone involved, and they value both goals and relationships. Collaborators tend to find win-win solutions, where no one loses.
These are different styles of conflict management. Once you know which style you tend to use, you might think twice about the way that you relate to someone. You might try to be more collaborative versus avoidant. Or you might try to be more competitive and aggressive if you tend to be more passive.
Having information about yourself and the way you are in relationships can facilitate having healthier relationships throughout your recovery.
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