Does Avoiding Conflict Make You Seem Detached & Arrogant? | #PeopleSkills
by Kate Nasser | 4 Comments »
Avoiding conflict can make you seem detached and arrogant. Surprised to read this? If your mind is saying that’s ridiculous, then it may be happening to you. The way you deal with your fear of conflict impacts how others see you.
Avoiding Conflict Can Make You Seem Detached & Arrogant
Don’t lots of people have a fear of conflict? How can it make you seem detached and arrogant? Well, fear of conflict doesn’t create the image. How you behave while avoiding conflict does.
When you think a discussion could lead to verbal conflict, do you …
Go silent and say nothing?
Look away from the person speaking?
Say nothing and leave?
Come back around when you feel safe?
If you read this list from your view of being safe, you won’t see it as arrogant and detached. Now picture yourself doing these things when you aren’t avoiding conflict. How does your total silence, turning away, leaving with no explanation look to you now? Not so positive? It can paint you as detached, rude, and even arrogant. If you then come back around and engage when you feel safe, you can seem manipulative. This image can stick to you and hurt you.
Avoiding Conflict: Prevent the Detached, Arrogant, Manipulative Image
When you fear that verbal conflict may happen, don’t go silent. In your personal life, you can tell others you don’t want to discuss the topic. Then if they continue and you turn away or leave, they will know why. If you are silent and give no information, you can seem rude, detached, and arrogant.
At work, you can’t always say that you don’t want to discuss a work topic. However, if emotions are rising and you are uncomfortable, you can ask others to speak respectfully to you. Once again if you are completely silent or turn away, they may see you as rude and arrogant.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
Speak Sooner to Prevent Needless Conflict
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Good timing for me. I did this yesterday at work and need to make some corrections on Monday. A direct report received a rude email from a former boss, same company. I encouraged her to brush it off. Then I saw the hurt in her eyes when she asked me if this was bullying and why do we allow people to behave this way. I just wanted to avoid conflict but bullying has been a hidden workplace problem that the company is trying to end. Time to step out of my comfort zone on Monday.
Linda H., Manager
You had a trigger reaction because you weren’t ready to accept/address the issue. Yet you were observant and aware when you saw the hurt look in her eyes and when she asked that brace question “is this bullying” etc… Apologize to her directly and then address the bullying email issue. If you aren’t sure of how to address the bullying email, check with other leaders and HR on what the approach and practice will be at your company.
Also, thank her for her courage in raising the question even after you told her to brush it off.
Great learning and thank you for sharing it with this community!
Great post Kate! There is healthy conflict and then there is toxic conflict. When people address us in a rude arrogant way we should just state we would welcome the opportunity to speak but not when a tone of disrespect is used. I have worked with people who try to be pushy but when I smile and tell them we should speak at a different time they back off and often apologize. Healthy conflict involves all people listening to one another to make things better.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for your insights Terri. To me there is healthy disagreement and there is conflict. Yet above all, time to think — as you noted — and rephrase makes all the difference.