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How and When To Avoid Conflict

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Half Moon?

No. It is more than that.

No. It is more than that.

The Problem?

Conflict is not new. Conflict will never go away. Peace will never eradicate all conflict. Sometimes even love requires conflict. It is how we conflict that is important. Matching force with force is sometimes the only way. Just ask Mandela. And really review Gandhi. Were there riots during the civil rights issues with King at the helm? Were there amiable solutions provided before and during the US civil war?

Should I keep doing what I am doing or do something else? I think most know the concept of a good angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Whispering in our ears and creating a conflict in our minds and morality? The conflict is there and usually we don’t even resolve the conflict and yet we take action or freeze in indecision. It is in our nature to decide the best option and act upon it. but we resist that and procrastinate.

I am in favor or reform but should I go into the streets where there is also rioting for reasons beyond my understanding? I understand exceptions and want reform so which party do I vote for? I really want to get that gift for my spouse but I think she would be happier saving the money, what should I do? I really want to and need to wash my car, but we are in a drought and it would be irresponsible. Should I just keep my angry feelings to myself or should I try to talk it out with my neighbor?

Conflict does not have to be massive and explosive in order to be a real conflict. So how and when do we simply avoid a conflict? And that question is a conflict in itself. Can we really ever avoid conflict?

So our answer is pretty clear we should try to avoid conflict but not at all costs. A man must stand for something or he will fall for anything. You have got to do what is right for your insides and your outsides. Is the measure of a man judged on how he handled conflict or how he avoided it? And the answer is clear – It depends.

The term “Pros and cons” is used for a reason. If we can change, in our minds, from conflict to weighing the pros and cons and making a rational decision then we can avoid external conflict. But the weighing is normally a conflict within.

Stand Up?


You have to just follow some sometimes.

You have to just follow some sometimes.

An Answer?

In the macro we see nations or religions. We see conflict between them. Are they looking for a resolution or for a fight? The US for example was born through rebellion and conflict as probably most nations today are. Surrendering is usually a bad option that must be taken. In the micro if we have surrendered to that devil on the shoulder then that is a bad thing. So sometimes the “when” of it is the real kicker.

Avoidance in psychobabble is not a good thing. It is considered a negative trait or disorder. When it is used as an escape from troubling reality it is a bad thing. When it is done to avoid an accident it is a good thing. Within the realm there is the concept of either doing something to avoid conflict or not doing something to avoid conflict. Clearly doing nothing is doing something so that kink in logic gets worked out and the distinction between the two quickly fades in cognition. Ever heard of passive aggressive?

“Staying the course” or “steadfast” are terms we hold in advice in a positive life. Well let us be sure that those two are bound to create conflict. They are a cornerstone of conflict because no two courses will be exactly the same. So when they run into each other there is conflict. If you do not want to avoid conflict stand hard on your conviction come hell or high water. For sure never try to see the other side except in order to defeat it.

Take an office team. They are there to cooperate. But in that cooperation there must be a sort of brutal honesty or the results are not as strong as they could be. Honesty is not the best way to avoid conflict. See the problem there in the moral integrity notion.

You could do this though. You could make avoiding conflict your “stand for” and that works out logically philosophically but let us know how it works out in your life which is seldom really logical. I can not count the times I avoided conflict and did not stand up for what I thought was right. I was a verbal and physical brute for a spell. And perhaps I overcompensated. But both got me to where I am today, loving life, so no regrets at all.

Are They Just Gorgeous?

Just a couple gals I helped raise.

Just a couple gals I helped raise.

Only One Tine Soldier Rides Away?

Can We?

So let us examine the how of it all. Because it seems that as we avoid external conflict we create more internal conflict. That is not good. That is doing the shifting of conflict and not the avoidance of. I go by a simple rule of thumb; Don’t sweat the small stuff. I want to do it my way and she wants to do it her way. She would be upset if we did it my way. The result would be about the same though the methods would be different. (remember we are talking small stuff like doing dishes) surrender and avoid conflict. Pick your battles and reserve your forces for when it matters.

I like conflict in politics. Same as armchair quarterbacks. How funny to get all up into the conflict when you make absolutely no difference in the conflict and you know too little. One person one vote aside. But on the other hand maybe it is healthy to vent – well of course it is. But how about we vent appropriately and maybe not on Facebook. Maybe to someone who knows us well, in person? I don’t much watch live TV but probably I would reckon that venting on the TV may help you avoid conflict elsewhere unless it would do some good.

They have an instruction to jurors before they deliberate and it basically goes like this; It just plain and simple does not help the process for a juror to start off the discussion blasting away his immediate position without some prior deliberation. Ain’t that true of life. An opinion before going over it with another is likely to spark a conflict. We just usually need prior honest feedback before going off halfcocked and loaded.

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So what is conflict? How about one situation different from another. One belief against another. One desire opposed to another desire. And worst is just one person just plain opposed to a different person.

Part of what we are seeing is lack of resolve. We allow this resistance and conflict to cause us to “unact” or procrastinate. We use conflict as a basis for inaction. Now that truly is the time to avoid conflict. And I suggest we don’t even resolve that conflict. We simply go with our gut or perhaps go with an angel or muse. Hard for me but, we should not over think it. Who regrets doing something more than not doing something?

So the how can be as easy as ignoring the conflict and just plain doing what you think is right. The when is when the conflict would cause delay or inaction? And the avoidance is just plain and simple not buying into the conflict.

Evaluation does not mean devaluation. Respect and love for one another resolves all conflict. This is critical.


Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 29, 2020:

Thank you Chrish for your thoughtful comment.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on September 28, 2020:

Oh, glad you mentioned it.

For it has been my problem as well

I dunno but the more I think deeper to express my opinion with good sense

The more it gets critical. Been Putting it into serious practice... Have a great day!

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 28, 2020:

Thank you Chrish. I like other people's opinion like you. Sometimes though I wish they would learn more about how to express them.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on September 28, 2020:

I enjoyed reading this article.

I love Wisdom! In our house everyones opinion matters the outside world,

Well I thought to my self - it is full of geniuses out side anywho has their own rights*. Right or wrong - hard to say.

Great day and God bless:-)

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 21, 2020:

Flourish you are so right. I have often thought how lucky I was to be raised in a safe home where disagreement was not thought of as bad. I'd say, that sticking to it until it is worked out is the most important tool.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 21, 2020:

I used to teach college-level group dynamics. Conflict rightly managed can be healthy and beneficial.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 15, 2020:

Any time you get more than one person together there will be differing opinions. One of my favorite movies is the old play 12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda. One lone man in a juror's deliberation room trying to convince the other 11 that maybe he was right and they were wrong. It is the nature of man to see things in his (or her) own way. That explains why we have so many different art forms today. No two people see the same scene the same way. And I think that is a good thing.



Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 15, 2020:

Chitrangada I use the avoidance quite a bit. That is one of the reasons I included the first video. I shows he went to some lengths to avoid conflict intended by another.

If I something positive to do or am tired I fully avoid conflict.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 15, 2020:

Ann in my high strung 20's I would actually work at using acceptable verbiage that still caused maximum damage. Glad I gave up being a lawyer.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 15, 2020:

An engaging and insightful article, with lot of takeaways.

I am scared of conflicts, and avoid them as much as I can. But, is that possible? Of course not.

The best option for me is to avoid it.

This is an important article, which I would visit again.

Thanks for sharing another engaging article full of words of wisdom.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 15, 2020:

Indeed, Eric. Words can do much good but sadly much harm too. That's why we should consider our words carefully - just imagine what we could do! Shame some of our politicians can't use them well.


Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 15, 2020:

Ann they say "knowledge is power" quite often true. But a command of words is always power in my mind at least.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 15, 2020:

Precisely! I'm sure much is intentional, reflecting political leanings.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 15, 2020:

Dora you just made me realize that anger is the same way. Sometimes it might even be called healthy to get angry. Conflict most definitely has it's place.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 15, 2020:

Sannyasi you just made my day. That is the first time anyone has ever commented to me those words. Cool and thank you.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 15, 2020:

Ann it is a strange world out there interpreting. I am quite certain that some mistranslation is intentional. (I think mistranslation is not a word) In the legal field it runs rampant. I watch foreign films with subtitles. The problem there is that the interpreter has ESL instead of the native tongue as a second language, critical. In life surely to add to conflict.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 15, 2020:

You're so right, Eric. Conflict does not always have to solved, but it should always be managed. You present some healthy perspectives. Thanks.

Sannyasi Raja from Durgapur, West Bengal, India on September 14, 2020:

I will try it

Ann Carr from SW England on September 14, 2020:

Perfect example, Eric! I often wonder about interpreter's words in critical meetings, especially political ones!


Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 13, 2020:

Linda aren't we blessed here in North America to have to luxury that while some fight in the streets most can weigh the issues in relative peace. I am a writer. I can write about conflict yet not need to experience it. We all have talents, mine is no longer rooted in conflict.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 12, 2020:

Your article is very applicable to this difficult time. Conflict can be unpleasant, but sometimes it's necessary. At other times, it's better to avoid it. It's actually a topic that I've been thinking about lately. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Eric.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 12, 2020:

Binoy I thank you. It is a constant journey that I am glad to be on.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 12, 2020:

Ann we just had conflict yesterday in our home. Construction matters. Language was the fault. Not her ESL but construction talk. What she described was nuts, but what she meant was good. It took some conflict but we ironed it out and now are getting what we both want.

That honesty and a willingness to talk it out is amazing.

Binoy from Delhi on September 12, 2020:

Very nice article. Interesting information, Thanks

Ann Carr from SW England on September 12, 2020:

Useful and insightful perspectives regarding conflict here, Eric. I hate conflict but you're right of course that it can be necessary and productive. 'Choose your battles' is good advice; minimum conflict when necessary gives the conflict more impact when it does occur, in my experience.

Also, the use of language can make all the difference - the ability to express clearly one's thoughts and to use reason rather than temper.

Always a great read, Eric, thank you.


Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 12, 2020:

Pretty much I agree with you Millicent. Sometimes it is much harder to just bite your tongue. But often it yields the most productive result.

Millicent Okello from Nairobi, Kenya on September 12, 2020:

Hi Eric, when you say "Within the realm there is the concept of either doing something to avoid conflict or not doing something to avoid conflict." I have learnt a lot from this article. I'd take not doing something to avoid conflict. Thanks.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 12, 2020:

Lorna, I think you are right on all your points. You are probably correct about inner conflict. Certainly you are right about attitude.

For certain, our inabilities here have lead to many a battle.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 12, 2020:

Thanks Umesh that is a high compliment indeed. Makes my day.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 12, 2020:

Thanks much Drew. You are so right on how not to do conflict. It took me ten years to figure out that when my wife yells it is just passion not disdain or disrespect. So I take your comment to the next step. Let us try to have compassion on those who think they do need to yell in order to get a point across in a conflict.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 12, 2020:

Eric you share useful points and so interesting to know of conflicts. To avoid a conflict is not always expected. Well-advised and a lot to ponder on here. Great to read another useful hub and take care.

Lorna Lamon on September 12, 2020:

I think it is always wise to pick your battles, however, it is also true that through conflict important channels of communication are opened up. It really depends on the attitude of the person or persons involved. A change of attitude is much more pronounced and permanent when it comes from your own experience rather than from outside pressure to think a certain way. Respect, love and tolerance does resolve all conflict, and l believe war is an absence of this.

Perhaps the greatest conflict is the one we have with ourselves. Great article Eric - thought provoking as usual.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 12, 2020:

So much on conflict. Will have to read it 2-3 times to understand it fully.

Drew Agravante from Philippines on September 11, 2020:

Thought-provoking as usual Eric. It's one thing that many people around the world don't understand. It's okay to have conflicting views but respect and love are just as critical. It doesn't mean that when they have a different view with you they're an enemy. You don't win a man through a shouting match. Thanks for the article.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:

Rania I am working in this area now and I have not concluded yet whether non-conflict or conflict is our human default position.

Together I hope we explore more.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:

What a wonderful comment Sowrabha. I will take it to heart and meditate on it.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:

Liz it is so important nowadays, thanks for reading and pointing that out.

Rania Heikal from Egypt on September 11, 2020:

I think that conflict is born with us since Adam and Eve. It is a built in attribute. We just try to alleviate its severity. You laid out the principles for a peaceful life with less conflict.

VIDYA D SAGAR on September 11, 2020:

Hi Eric what you say is true, respect and love for one another can resolve conflict between people but it is the inner conflict within oneself which is difficult to resolve. Doing what you think is right is the best option.

sowspeaks from Bengaluru on September 11, 2020:

Hi Eric, I like your bold, brazen approach to all topics.

You are so right when you talk about the macro and the micro conflict.

If every man would invest more time in resolving his inner conflicts, he would have that much less time for the outer conflict:).

Have a peaceful day without and conflicts:)

Liz Westwood from UK on September 11, 2020:

You make some interesting points in this very relevant article.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:

Thank you Vikram that is extremely well stated. Growing pains.

Vikram Brahma from Assam, India on September 11, 2020:

Hey Eric, I think conflict is in human nature. The world is so big and we have so many differences, so I think we can have conflict. But we should look at such things with a positive mindset. But the best part is due to differences and conflict humans have discovered so many things for themselves. Sometimes conflict is needed but in the end, we should laugh and enjoy our differences with an open heart.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:

LInda I was reading James 14 today about faith without works being dead. It takes work to listen well. Your point is well made. Thank you.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 11, 2020:

Eric, a wise someone (perhaps it was my Dad) told me there's a reason God gave us two ears but just one mouth; it's better to listen to the other person than to spout off.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:

Ambrie I have no doubt that we shall be forgiven as we forgive.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:

Bill if it weren't for my mellow I would be a buried fellow. You have chill down to an art form.

Ambrie Anders on September 11, 2020:

A very interesting read as just recently I was given the advice to first forgive the other person before even thinking of contronting them.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2020:

Pamela, thank you. You are so right that kindness fits the bill. Compassion I suppose is also a prerequisite.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 11, 2020:

Wonderful analysis, buddy! You wrapped it up with respect and love, which is a perfect way to wrap up a discussion on, or the real thing, conflict. My God, how I've mellowed over the years regarding conflict. Probably one reason why I'm still alive. :)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 11, 2020:

This is an excellent article, Eric. I don't like conflict but you do have to stand up sometimes for what you believe.

I really like your last paragraph about respect and love. That is true for sure and kindness might fit in there somewhere as well.

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