The Price You Pay for Avoiding Conflict

When someone in your work or personal life treats you poorly, do you address it—or do you fear to bring the situation up, worried you might make things worse?  

If you’re someone who chooses the certainty of silence over the risk of speaking out, consider the worse risks you accept.

It doesn’t work

Avoiding conflict gives only temporary relief. It fixes nothing. The conflict festers and flares up again. Not dealing with problems resembles setting a package of rancid chicken into the fridge, hoping the chicken will improve with time.

Your frustration compounds the problem

When you bite your tongue and choke your feelings down, they often bubble up to the surface.  Instead of talking things out, you act them out, sending out an unhappy vibe.

You disappoint yourself

The realization you haven’t faced the situation or stuck up for yourself hangs over you like a dark cloud. Worse, you won’t develop your conflict resolution muscles. They become flabby, and when you really need them, you won’t be able to pull them into action.

strong man hanging on metal construction

I’ve finished writing Managing for Accountability: A Business Leader’s Toolbox (Business Experts Press, 2021, 42,620 words) and have started writing Navigating Conflict: Tools for Handling Tough, Touchy Situations and Conversations. I’d love to hear from you what topics you want addressed in the book. Meanwhile, if you’ve yet seen yesterday’s post, it gives voice to why we all need to speak up and stick up for the country we want to live in

© 2020, Lynne Curry

Lynne Curry, Ph.D., SPHR, is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016, and “Solutions”, (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Send your questions to her at or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.

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2 thoughts on “The Price You Pay for Avoiding Conflict

  1. This is a great reflection on the perils of avoiding conflict in the workplace. The tendency also gets noticed by coworkers, some of whom will take advantage by engaging in questionable behavior and others by not following the rules when it doesn’t suit them.

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