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Indirectness Can Lead to Conflict

It is often the case that those of us who prefer to avoid conflict are indirect in our communications. This can itself lead to conflict – inner and outer – and a dynamic that doesn’t serve us well. For instance, when we are perceived as avoiders and not fully expressing our needs, there is the chance others could take advantage of us to get what they want. As a consequence, we are likely to be frustrated and angry at ourselves as well as them.

Then, there is the possibility that others who see us as being indirect may also avoid the situation and issues. Also, contrary to how we want to be perceived, some people might view us as weak – without the courage of our convictions and even dishonest and inauthentic. Inner conflict (like external conflict) commonly occurs in these scenarios.

These and other such dynamics that arise due to being indirect are worth considering when answering the following Conflict Mastery Quest(ions), if you tend to be indirect or irritated by others who are:

If you were indirect in a conflict with another person, how were you so?

What reasons were you being indirect in that situation?

How are the reasons above the same or different from other times you’ve been indirect, i.e. person, subject matter, fears, etc.?

If you were to have been direct in the above situation what would you have said or done?

What good result might have occurred if you were direct?

In what ways did being indirect result in inner and/or outer conflict for you?

When someone else is indirect with you, how does that contribute to the interpersonal conflict?

When you consider a time someone was indirect with you, what do you think resulted in this person being indirect?

How did her or his indirectness benefit you? The relationship? How did it not benefit you? The relationship?

If you wanted to be more direct in a conflict situation what might help facilitate that? If you wanted the other person in a conflict to be more direct with you how might you facilitate that?

What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?

What insights do you have?

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