How conflict-averse individuals can better navigate disagreements

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Article provided by Life Coach Grace McMahon. For further information, please visit

Conflict is of course an inevitable part of life, but for many of us, conflict is anxiety-inducing!

Although there’s nothing wrong with avoiding confrontation, research illustrates how suppressing feelings when we disagree can be damaging to both our physical and mental wellbeing, and daring to disagree is an important life skill that’s worth investing time in.

Acknowledge challenging feelings –  we can’t resolve an issue with another person if we don’t first acknowledge that it exists ourselves. Acknowledging the uncomfortable emotions (anger, resentment, frustration) that disagreement brings up will enable us to work through them more easily.

Plan it out – if the idea of bringing up an issue makes you feel anxious, make a plan about what to say and think through when a good time might be to bring the issue up- (maybe not in the middle of the person’s birthday party?)

Resolve issues as they arise – sitting on your feelings for a long time can lead us to hatch a big old egg of resentment. Try to be upfront with how you feel, it’s ok to disagree, but it’s not really ok to scream (Malcolm Tucker style) at the person we disagree with!

Think of conflict as a creative engine – make like Fleetwood Mac, and reframe conflict as an opportunity to learn and grow. Remember some of the greatest creations were born out of conflict!

Grace McMahonAbout the author

Grace is a certified and accredited Life Coach, with a background in education, psychology and counselling. She has further accredited training in; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro-linguistic Programming, as well as mental health and wellbeing for both adults and children.

She is enthusiastic about guiding people in their learning around wellbeing and mental health, due to her struggles with her own mental health throughout her teenage years. She received a variety of treatments and this showed her just how important it is to seek the right tool for each individual, in order for them to think and feel well.

For further information, please visit

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