I think we can safely say that no one actually enjoys arguing, especially when the other person is someone that we care about. It can also be hard to know the best way to get your feelings and points across when you’re conflict-avoidant.
Lucky for us, psychologist Patrick Dixon gave us some constructive tips and phrases to use when we find ourselves being mad at someone, neglected by a loved one and when we’re scared to share our feelings.
First of all, if you want to have effective communication, Dixon recommends that you pick a calm time in the day/week, use an easy manner, slow down the pace and make sure you keep to the point.
But what kinds of phrases can you use in an argument when you’re conflict-avoidant and usually struggle to communicate your feelings? Let’s find out.
Phrases to use if you’re conflict-avoidant
What to say when you’re mad at someone
It can be really difficult to get all your points across when you’re mad at someone without getting overworked or letting your emotions take over.
Dixon suggested that when you’re mad at someone, you should start with the feeling, then describe why and then ask for what you need in the future.
Something like: I feel X because of X so I need X in the future.
“For example, I feel angry because you ate my pizza. I need you to ask me first next time,” Dixon said.
When you start with ‘I’ statements, it minimises defensiveness from the other person. It will also help keep your message simple and straight to the point, which Dixon says is a great fallback for when you’re emotions take over and you can’t think clearly. Which often happens if you’re a conflict-avoidant person.
What to say when you’re feeling neglected by a loved one
Feeling neglected by a loved one hurts and it can be hard knowing exactly how to bring that up to them without turning it into an argument.
Dixon thinks that when you’re feeling neglected by a loved one, you should describe the facts, express the emotion, assert the need and reinforce the change.
“For example, I’ve noticed that we’ve been spending less time together lately, this makes me feel sad/neglected. I would like for us to have a weekly catch up and quality time together, [as] this will make me feel loved/connected/supported and strengthen our relationship,” Dixon said.
What to say when you’re scared to share your feelings
Sharing feelings with someone can be really stressful, especially if you’re a conflict-avoidant person.
Just because you’re scared to share your feelings, that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate them effectively.
“When you’re scared to share your feelings – start with a gentle start up using soft, balanced words,” Dixon recommended.
That would look something like this:
“This is kind of difficult for me to do, I’m not really used to this. And at the same time, I think it’s important that I share how I feel. Lately, I’ve been feeling …”
Obviously, in each of these situations, it’s important that you are making sure that you are conveying your point clearly and that you feel respected in doing so.
If you need any help with phrases to say to ease workplace tensions, we’ve got some tips for you here.
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