Sensitivity to conflict

Today subject is: what is a healthy disagreement? Yesterday we had a family meeting as the kids had started to squabble a bit again. Having sorted that out, and agreed actions, I then asked them if there’s anything they want different from Mummy & Daddy. To which our daughter replied – ‘No more arguing and shouting at one another’. We were a bit astonished as it’s been a peaceful month so I asked ‘When do you think we argued?’. And they both agreed that we had argued the day before. What’s amazing about this is that we had had a very minor difference of opinion, exchanged views, neither of us got angry and we found a compromise we were both happy with. In other words it was about as perfect a disagreement as you can have. (Don’t get me wrong we do have the other sort as well but we haven’t had one of them this year – yet!). We pointed this out to which Millie replied ‘But you were shouting’. I said ‘Yes because Daddy was in the other room and wouldn’t hear me otherwise, but I wasn’t angry shouting’. She was still having none of it and the last comment from Daddy’s adoring daughter was ‘Anyway you shouted at Daddy and you treat him like a slave’. At which point the husband and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud! The point of telling you all this is because it reflects something I often see in couples. One partner will hate conflict so much that they do anything to avoid any type of disagreement or will feel that there’s been an argument even if there is a minor difference of opinion. Meanwhile the other may well not even be aware that anything happened & will be clueless as to why they are getting the cold shoulder. People just have very different levels of sensitivity to conflict. Unfortunately what can often happen is the partner who is very sensitive ends up doing anything to avoid disagreeing: not voicing how they feel, stonewalling (i.e. refusing to talk about it, walking away etc – 1 of the 4 toxins), suppressing their feelings. Until either it all comes out .. usually in a very toxic way .. or the distance between the couple grows. How is your sensitivity to conflict? Pls Like / Share.

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