Confronting Conflict Avoidance: Taking a Stand for a Better Shared Space

Skylar Hawthorne

Updated Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 12:39 PM CDT

Confronting Conflict Avoidance: Taking a Stand for a Better Shared Space

The Rise of Conflict Avoidance and its Detrimental Effects on Society

Conflict avoidance is being seen as a virtue and is slowly poisoning all shared spaces. In today's society, people are becoming either a******s or a******-accommodators, which is an unsustainable dynamic. Average, everyday individuals need to be willing to stand up to bullies who use social discomfort to get their way.

Priorities are often misplaced, with more concern for "making a scene" than doing the right thing or standing up for oneself and others. By confronting bullies in everyday situations, such as someone cutting in line or playing a video without headphones, we can create a more respectful and harmonious environment.

Unfortunately, society has embraced the idea of "Just ignore the trolls," leading to a passive response to negative behavior. This mindset gives all agency to one side in questions of behavior, putting us on that side, regardless of our claims or actions. Consequently, the world is becoming friendlier to those who take advantage of people's aversion to confrontation.

Some individuals justify making unreasonable requests by taking advantage of others' inability to say no and risk a confrontation. This exploitation of conflict avoidance has dire consequences. Trivial altercations have resulted in the murder of a bus driver and a security guard in Philadelphia, illustrating the potential dangers of allowing conflict avoidance to persist unchecked.

While conflict avoidance can be understandable in a society with no public mental health resources and poor education standards, it is essential to hold others accountable, particularly within the family, in preventing harmful behavior. By addressing negative behavior and politely telling people to put away their phones or be quiet in public spaces, we can effectively create a more respectful environment.

Speaking up against disruptive behavior in movie theaters can lead to a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Politely asking people to stop talking during a concert resulted in less conversation and a happier atmosphere for those around. Not addressing negative behavior allows people to get away with as much as they can, perpetuating a cycle of disrespect.

The expectation of passivity in conflicts places the blame on those who react emotionally, rather than on those who initiate the negative behavior. However, it is important to note that the lack of public mental health resources and poor education standards contribute to conflicts turning violent over trivial matters. By holding ourselves accountable when upset, we can maintain respectful dialogue and prevent escalation.

polite confrontation can lead to positive changes in behavior and create a better shared space for everyone. It is crucial for individuals to overcome their fear of conflict and stand up against bullies who rely on social discomfort to manipulate others. By prioritizing respectful dialogue and accountability, we can foster a society that values harmony and mutual respect in all shared spaces.

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