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Walking Away From Conflict

While avoiding conflict is often perceived as an inappropriate way to manage our interpersonal conflicts, there are times walking away is the optimum approach. The idea of walking away presented here refers to not engaging in a dispute with another because we are not strongly vested in the subject or outcome. Or maybe, the issues are overly contentious and we just don’t want to challenge the relationship – which may be tenuous in any case. Such reasons and others often inform whether we walk towards or away from conflict.

It is suggested that the factor to consider in distinguishing avoiding and walking away has to do with whether we are actually avoiding the conflict – because we don’t feel confident and comfortable standing our ground. This is as opposed to walking away because it’s not important enough to us to assert ourselves, undermine the other person, or cause unnecessary conflict.

The Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog this week asks you to consider a dispute and whether it is avoiding or walking away you are doing – according to the description here.

  • What is the dispute about that you are (thinking of) walking away from?
  • On a scale of 1-10, 10 being very important to you and 1 being unimportant to you, what rating would you give the level of importance of the issues to you? How would you rate the importance of the relationship?
  • On a scale of 1-10, 10 being very important and 1 being unimportant, what rating might the other person give the level of importance of the issues? How may she or he rate the importance of the relationship?
  • If you walk away, what would you walk away from?
  • What would you walk to?
  • If you think you are avoiding the conflict, what are you avoiding?
  • What are the pros and cons of walking away for you?
  • What are the pros and cons of walking away for the other person?
  • What is the difference for you between walking away and avoiding?
  • Whether you are walking away or avoiding, what do you suppose you are missing out on learning?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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