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How did your family resolve conflict?


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4 minutes ago, Elizabeth86 said:

My mom was a doormat people pleaser and I too am a doormat people pleaser. We both avoid conflict.

Interesting! What happens when two conflict-avoiders have a conflict with each other?

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My (single) mom told me who I was and how to feel and I acted accordingly. She would tell you we were best friends and I would tell you I was very confused, but there was no conflict.

I think in my attempt at a healthy emotional state I have a good relationship with my kids where they are comfortable bringing up grievances and having open discussions. I was too emotional for my first 5 years of motherhood.

My husband and I have conflict resolution problems but we're working on it. It has more to do with his upbringing than mine.

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Ha. I read lots of books about boundaries and both healthy and unhealthy relationships to my kid so she understands how things work. She's not as nice as I am, and I'm very pleased about it.

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My parents didn't argue with each other. 

One of my parents argued with me by, among other things,  hitting me in the head. I guess you'd describe that as 'having it out'. 

I am conflict-avoidant as a result. Very much a soother, irl, an egg-shell walker. 

When I was married, it affected the relationship in that I put up with all kinds of abuse, 'because it wasn't physical'. 

With my parenting, I've historically been extremely low-conflict with my kids. I chose flexibility of my needs over conflict with theirs. 

As they've gotten older we've had to navigate some significant conflict, and with the help of therapy, have come through. 

Definitely a learned skill. I think most people can learn healthy ways to navigate conflict, but depending on childhood context, some of us need a lot of support in our learning. 

 

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5 minutes ago, GracieJane said:

Interesting! What happens when two conflict-avoiders have a conflict with each other?

In my experience they don't, unless they have a conflict about having a conflict. It gets swept under the carpet but will definitely be discussed later on when you're not so emotional. Hahahahha. Like that ever happens. 

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We yelled a lot growing up.  Conflict was solved in a lot of unhealthy ways.

As an adult, it took a long time to form new habits of communication: still being assertive, but listening and hearing another perspective so we could come to some sort of solution.

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I grew up in a very conflict avoidant “keep the peace ‘cause family” type of family. I’m not like that as a wife and parent. I’ve started to not be like that as a sister and daughter and it’s causing all kinds of problems. My mom actually called me out of the blue the other night to argue with me and then she hung up because she didn’t like that I was fighting back. She’s never hung up on me before because we rarely ever argue so I don’t know what’s next. I’ve tried to talk with them about wanting real relationships instead of the fake ones we have because I don’t speak up but they don’t want to hear it. I’m proud of myself for not continuing to be a doormat for them and I hope being happy about it follows soon. 

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My mother was a "hash it out!" person. To a fault. I grew up thinking it was good and healthy. I mean, she is not a horrible person and it's not like I grew up with a ton of horrible conflict, but she always emphasized the need to somehow work through and resolve everything and sometimes it was fruitful and sometimes it was massive drama that resolved nothing.

As I've gotten older, I've seen how that's not always very smart. It's okay to just take a breath and let crap go. Not everything has to be worked out. 

I'm not a conflict avoider or a hash it out'er now, I'd say. Our household is very much don't sweat the small stuff, walk away when you're having trouble sweating the small stuff, sit down and dig in if you need to work it out occasionally. With my extended family, I have become a conflict avoider. I refuse to get drawn in. As long as everyone is being respectful of my boundaries, I listen and let it all go. When people are not respectful, I just walk away. Forget it. Not doing it.

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I guess we were lucky. We all got along very well, and if someone got upset or angry about something, we talked it out and got over it. Nobody held a grudge. 

There was never really any yelling or anything, and certainly never any physical violence.

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4 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

I guess we were lucky. We all got along very well, and if someone got upset or angry about something, we talked it out and got over it. Nobody held a grudge. 

There was never really any yelling or anything, and certainly never any physical violence.

This is so nice to hear. 

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One parent was conflict avoidant and a people pleaser. The other was a screamer. The basic strategy was for the people pleaser to do anything and everything to keep the screamer from blowing their stack.  It was all about appeasing the angry person. Nothing ever got resolved. 

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"Hash it out"...I guess one could call the home environment I was raised in that. I can think of other words/phrases, too.

I grew up in a home where conflict was the norm and resolving it involved name-calling, physical threats, calling the police (because that's what when does when one finds one's mother straddling stepfather's chest with a butcher knife in her hand), throwing things, hitting (hair brushes, metal vacuum poles, anything within reach), and verbalizing the hope that one's offspring would not wake up from surgery because said offspring would not take her mother's side in an argument. Even after an argument was over, the looks and cold-shoulder treatment would continue; peaceful resolution was never an option.

So yeah, a wee bit of conflict avoidance would have been nice in the home where I grew up. My mom thrives on arguing and making people angry, and her children grew up not really liking each other (an understatement). Astonishingly, 3 of the 4 siblings have not followed in our parents' ugly arguing footsteps. For me, I strive to be the polar opposite of my mother in every way, including with conflict. I will not yell/scream. I walk away, take some breaths, wait, think, then either respond or let it go. I will not return ugly for ugly, hatred for hatred. I do not take sick pleasure in seeing others hurt or angry at my words/actions. I have yet to pull a knife on anyone or throw anything - I actually back away with my hands folded and will literally stand in the middle of a room where I cannot reach anything when angry. I teach my children to talk to each other, to listen, to not call names or say something to hurt just because they are hurt. Ask questions, don't accuse.

My dh grew up with a mom who thought she was the Queen Chicken in the hen yard. Her verbal "pecking" and method of arguing were enough to get a perfectly rational person who had done nothing wrong to admit to wrong-doing and be a puddle of tears and apologies (I witnessed her do this to my dh after we got married). She threw things, insulted, hurled accusations, and would/will never admit to being wrong. Never. My fil finally stood up to her as did I (whew, boy, did that go over well...yet it resulted in almost 2 marvelously quiet years of not seeing them and, once we were around them again, a clear understanding that I will take.her.on).

So my dh is more prone to ugly arguing but that just doesn't fly with me. When he tried it some years ago he was told quite clearly that he could take his behavior and leave. Dh and I now have very few conflicts and they last about a minute and never involve ugliness, mostly because I shut down anything that starts going badly whether it is between him and me or him and the kids. I refuse to be "married" to his mom or have my dc subjected to the behaviors of either of our mothers. I'll engage in rational conversation/conflict resolution, I won't hash everything out, but will not engage in ugly arguing.

Wow, that was a way long response to a short question. Dh has the dc at hockey (I usually take them) so this is what happens when I have a quite house and am avoiding doing what needs to be done!
 

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My mother was a doormat - and it made me really angry.  I'd come out fighting.

Dh and I talk things out.  it can be hard sometimes - but communication is important to both of us.

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My family hashed it out. There was yelling at times.  Pretty much people got mad, expressed their anger, there was talking, apologies, and then it was over with compromise or with someone backing down. No grudges.

My husband's family does not talk about problems. Things get ignored/swept under the rug. Lots of passive aggressive action going on.

As you might imagine, we have had our share of difficulties. I think my kids are more like me, but without the yelling. I see no purpose in pretending there is not a disagreement and it's better to work it out than to pretend it doesn't exist. 

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Until recently, everyone mostly did what ever made Mom happy. Possibly there may have been mild verbal arguments, but eventually everyone would give in and do what she wanted just to avoid the drama. Or, we appeared to agree, but but did what we thought as best anyway-very passive aggressive I would say. 
As kids, we did not learn any conflict resolution skills at all, so we had lots of physical fights. As one sibling got the physical advantage over another, we went to complete avoidance of each other. That led to very distant relationships as adults. I don’t have a way to contact either of my brothers except through Facebook. 
I won’t go into details here, but something serious happened recently, and my mother has not been able to manipulate or dominate her children to get her desired result (boundaries are finally being established), and the results have gotten ugly. 

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My family growing up “hashed it out,” but in more of a vigorous discussion kind of way, instead of a yelling kind of way. There was no passive-aggressive drama, and everyone meant what they said and knew where everyone else stood.

DH is more of a silent treatment kind of guy and a “guess what I really mean by that” kind of guy. It’s hard to go from one to the other. I’ve tried to teach my kids to be more straightforward in working out their conflicts. 

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My mother was very wise and quietly strong and somehow she never had to tell me anything and I knew what she was thinking.  My father was a little more vocal -- he doesn't have the same subtleties or understanding of nuances in the same way.  But I only remember him getting really, really mad at me once (and it was deserved!), and my mother never.  We just seemed to get along well and really enjoyed each other.  That doesn't mean I was always obedient -- I was pretty sneaky in high school but as far as I know they weren't aware of it.  (Who knows!  My mother was probably way more aware of it than I thought.)  We didn't talk about deep things though, even though I know they were both deep thinkers.

What a difference to marry my dh who talks about everything and always says exactly what he thinks and challenges me to think differently sometimes.  But it's always in a very practical way, not emotionally charged.  And that's all good, because our brains work very differently so if we didn't talk about everything we'd probably have a lot more misunderstandings!  My dh never gets mad though.  In 35+ years I've maybe seen him lose his temper only twice, and it was barely at all.  He's extremely even-tempered.

 

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1 hour ago, GracieJane said:

Interesting! What happens when two conflict-avoiders have a conflict with each other?

lol we really don’t. I have a slightly more aggressive than she is, but she is my very closest friend and we rarely disagree.

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"Hash it out" is really an interesting way to put this. I mean, it does seem to encompass everything from abusive yelling to calm and continuous vocal communication. Like two ends of a spectrum - one unhealthy and the other healthy. Same thing with avoidance. It's everything from not sweating the small stuff/live and let live to passive aggressive, letting everything fester stuff. Basically, reading these, I think it's interesting as a way to break it down because it doesn't address healthy or not healthy.

I would put physical violence in another whole category. An obviously unhealthy category, obviously.

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I wouldn’t even know how to describe it. Dramatic and unhealthy and weird. No physical altercations. Lots of repressing things and then total meltdowns either yelling or crying. Very uneven and confusing. 
 

So much resentment and bringing up stuff from the past. So repress stuff and then hash it out months or years later. Fun times.

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26 minutes ago, Farrar said:

"Hash it out" is really an interesting way to put this. I mean, it does seem to encompass everything from abusive yelling to calm and continuous vocal communication. Like two ends of a spectrum - one unhealthy and the other healthy. Same thing with avoidance. It's everything from not sweating the small stuff/live and let live to passive aggressive, letting everything fester stuff. Basically, reading these, I think it's interesting as a way to break it down because it doesn't address healthy or not healthy.

I would put physical violence in another whole category. An obviously unhealthy category, obviously.

Yes! The first time dh and I got into an argument (while dating) I walked out to just avoid it. When I came back, dh was like, “No, that’s not gonna work.” I learned then how to “hash it out” but in a productive way. We also let a lot things go because they’re so trivial but we definitely talk out the important ones. 

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My parents were hashed it out. When I was younger my mom was physically abusive toward my dad (she would throw things at him). He mostly just avoided getting hurt (he was an orphan so having a family any family was really important to him). After she became a Christian she stopped being physically abusive, but my dad never really got over what she did in the beginning. By high school there was just a lot of yelling, and a lot of asking me to take sides. Overall my parents tried their best when it came to their dealings with me; they've never spanked me and rarely yelled at me. The only negative things my parents did was my mom would ignore me for a long time when she got mad at me.

I turned out to be a conflict avoider and repress all the sh*t. In marriage counselling, we dealt a lot with me being able to tell my husband how I feel.  With my kids, I read all the books and try my best. I don't "do the right thing" often and have to apologize for my mistakes. My kids are definitely not going to grow up thinking their mom has it together.  

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There was no conflict. Do exactly what Dad said - that was the rule. Trust me, it wasn’t broken often. 

I learned conflict resolution in my adult years after I figured out that it was really okay to disagree or have different opinions and that working for someone wasn’t the same as being manipulated by them. 
 

 

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Posted (edited)

In my parents home there wasn't much conflict. I cannot really remember my parents arguing at all. Mind you it was both their second marriage. My bio father committed suicide when I was 3 and my step father first wife dumped all his stuff on the street when he was at work one day and had a new man living with her.

So  they had both worked our something that worked. Dad worked from 7 am to 7 pm  he helped get the littlies to bed when he came home then fell asleep in the loungeroom chair. Mum did all the running of the household and occasionally cut the cable to the TV to stop dad falling asleep in the chair 

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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Posted (edited)

My parents didn't disagree in front of us, even after the divorce. Eta My mum thought the marriage was fine but I don't know what went on behind the scenes.

As a younger woman, I used to let resentment grow, then I would explode. Then Husband would try to pick up the pieces, but by that stage I often didn't even know what I wanted. Eta I felt bad about blowing up.

Now, we talk fairly reasonably. In general, the person who feels most strongly tends to get their way. Each of us has veto. We don't row.

Edited by Laura Corin
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My DH had a completely different upbringing. His parents fought every day. By the time I met them they were living on seperate floors of the house, sharing the kitchen, but having their own fridge and cooking meals seperatly. Any time they crossed paths they would start yelling at each other in German. 

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I grew up in a (severely) conflict avoidant home. Virtually nothing was ever discussed in a mature way. My mom dropped passive-agressive hints if she had an issue with us kids; my dad was almost completely emotionally unavailable. Even when significant events happened to a sibling (i.e., a car accident, an unwed pregnancy, an elopement), there was no “family meeting” sort of thing where we all discussed the event. We were just left to figure it out/find out. 

As a young adult I had absolutely no conflict resolution skills. I did not know how to disagree politely or accept the slightest criticism/correction. I cried all the time. Fortunately I did learn some skills, partially from observing a healthier dynamic (dh’s family) and partially from reading a lot of books.

It is true I still prefer peace over conflict and am inclined to let some things go. I think it’s better to choose my battles. But I hardly ever cry anymore over conflict and I have no problem stating facts when necessary. 

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Sometimes I’m not sure how to define ‘conflict’. Does whining because I didn’t want to do my chores count? Begging to stay out late? Because I don’t remember a whole lot of remarkable conflict outside of stuff like that except when I was a much older teen.

My house was often full of yelling, but not in a way that scared anyone. (I’ve learned as an adult that yelling scares people outside of my bubble.) We are loud people and any sort of excitement, even positive, is basically yelled.

I think both my parents are conflict avoidant, and my mom to an annoying degree now.

Dh is conflict avoidant, and it makes me nuts. I want to talk about things, and I will sometimes provoke a fight if that’s what it takes to get there.

But, again, what’s a ‘fight’? In my mind, it’s just a loud discussion when people are frustrated that they’re not agreeing. I know there’s more to it for people with different backgrounds. Like dh.

What scares me is not being understood and not understanding others.

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9 hours ago, Farrar said:

"Hash it out" is really an interesting way to put this. I mean, it does seem to encompass everything from abusive yelling to calm and continuous vocal communication. Like two ends of a spectrum - one unhealthy and the other healthy. Same thing with avoidance. It's everything from not sweating the small stuff/live and let live to passive aggressive, letting everything fester stuff. Basically, reading these, I think it's interesting as a way to break it down because it doesn't address healthy or not healthy.

I would put physical violence in another whole category. An obviously unhealthy category, obviously.

Well observed.

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Neither Dh nor I had healthy homes or learned conflict management from our growing up. 

I made lots of progress in college and grad school, but then plateaued for a long time.  Marriage and children, especially teen children, have made for lots of opportunities for growth in this area! 
 

A good counselor is hugely helpful! 

 

 

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Things didn't get resolved. 🤷‍♀️ It was just constant hostility, including some displaced aggression. I kept my mouth shut and waited until I could move out. (My parents divorced when I was ~5, my mom remarried when I was 7, and then the second marriage finally ended when I was in college after several miserable years.)

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Posted (edited)

My family - hash it out, yell about it, work it out and move on.

DH's family - avoid, sweep under the rug, let bitterness grow for 10-15 years and then accuse others of something they did that long ago via passive-aggressive comments

It is still amazing to me that my DH is the man that he is after growing up in that environment.  We had some bumps in working through communication initially. He always thought I was mad at him when I would address things directly and he thought my sister and I were always yelling at each other until we told him, this is just how we talk!  His mom thought that I was rude (probably still does) because I prefer to deal with things rather than let them fester for years on end.  DH's eyes were opened to the unhealthy ways of his family and he quickly grew to appreciate the direct and healthy communication of mine. We communicate well.  And we have had to put up strong boundaries with his family.  They will never change. It's weird and has led to generations of problems that will never be resolved because of their unwillingness to talk, listen to each other, and work things out. 

Edited by kristin0713
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My parents are both conflict-avoiders who always worked hard at good healthy resolution.  So while there was a tendency towards just avoiding conflict subjects on one part and hurt silence on the other, they actively worked to catch themselves falling into that pattern and instead choose to go aside privately and discuss problems to come to compromise.
 I do have a sibling who has been rough on the family ever since her teens, since she has always been more interested in “winning” than in engaging in adult discussion and compromise, and will walk all over the peacekeeper family members to get her way.  As a whole, we are not very good at boundary-setting, and anyone who does set healthy boundaries with her gets vilified.  My parents would rather err on the side of making sure she knows they will always love her and welcome her back, no matter what, but I hate to see her mistreat them again and again as an adult.

 

My in-laws yell and fight each other.  My mil thinks this is a good thing, because she hated how her parents would use passive aggressive methods that would drag tension out for weeks at a time and make all family members miserable while denying anything was going on.  It has really surprised me how many couples I know who seem to believe these are the only two options.  Dh would go hide under his bed as a little boy when they fought, and wanted a different way.

 

My dh and I have great communication and conflict resolution.  I’m a natural avoider and he tends towards steamrolling (compared to me; he’s the peacemaker of his family), but we both have worked towards actively combating those tendencies from the beginning of our relationship.  I steel myself to discuss uncomfortable topics, he checks his reaction to tell me why I am wrong and he is right, we both share our views and duly consider the other’s with a view to compromise.  We sometimes set a specific time to come back to the discussion if we are not coming to a resolution yet.  It works great.  His family doesn’t believe it.  They are sure that since we never fight, it means that he is always bending over backwards to do whatever I want with no consideration for himself at all.  It’s like they cannot even see that there is another way.

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My father is undiagnosed bipolar and was emotionally abusive growing up.  He is now medicated.    My mother never confronted him.  
 

My marriage is one where we talk things out, usually always agree.  I am not a pushover or conflict-avoider in any relationship, kind of the opposite honestly.  

Because of my dad, i *constantly* ask my dh if he’s mad at me, and that drives him nuts, I think.  But dh knows why I do it—because my dad was always mad growing up, so I expect dh to be also.  He’s very rarely upset by anything though.  

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Posted (edited)

My mom was the screamer. She emasculated my dad and screamed at us children. I wish we could have been a more healthy, talk it out family. I wasn’t allowed to speak up in a protesting way when I had been treated too harshly. If there were conflict between siblings (pretty rare, actually) it was mostly my older brother taking (and selling) whatever possession of mine he wanted. He was never spoken to sternly about that. Protests regarding  younger golden child brother swiftly resulted in my being told that I was spoiled, ungrateful and would end up just like mamaw Betty (someone mom greatly criticized and disliked).

I saw more healthy families when I met Dh and began going to his church. It took most of my young adult and adult years observing and figuring out how healthier families interacted in this way. 
 

I believe I was/am a pretty good mom. I worry about that, though, sometimes. I have to reassure myself that thought I’m not perfect, things were very different in our home from the one I grew up in. I’m not close to my brothers. One is untrustworthy, and the other is so close to my mom, he can’t separate from her and have a real connection with me. He has her back no matter her behavior. We do have somewhat of a relationship, though.

My sons have a wonderful relationship and I love they way they are genuinely happy to see each other when they haven’t seen each other for awhile. 

We do have conflict from time to time, but we all can say how we feel, and we talk things out. Not perfect, but a much, much more safe and healthy environment.
 

Edited by Indigo Blue
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As a kid? Loved my dads style- get upset only when absolutely called for, holler and bluster a bit, go on with life. My mom wold work hard to overcome a scenario or not get upset until she couldn’t hold it in any longer because addressing calmly never got anyone to pay much attention. My dad is easy going to the point of non observant so she didn’t really have an other half in life adventures for the hard stuff because little (and big) things rarely phased him... Even when there really was an issue.  I am both of them - I tend to let a lot slide but when I can’t, I  go from 0 to 10 in frustration. I despise passive aggressiveness. I hit things head on and very directly. I’m getting better at finesse, lol, but still find it a time waster. 
 

DH’s dad is address every thing immediately. He’s very proactive but addresses every single thing. DH’s mom is passive aggressive. He has a lot of both of them. He feels his communication style is gentle. I agree he is more gentle than me, but to the point that no one has a clue. “My allergies are bad today,” is actually coffee for, “I think my allergies are bad today because the window is open. If you cared at all, you would close that window or never have opened it in the first place.” My style? “Fred, shut the window.” His style drives me nuts. Mine feels very abrupt and rude to him. 
 

Ironically he feels very not heard so feels disrespected. My thoughts? Say what you’re really staying and people wold have a clue. This is the number one source of conflict in our home - his hurt feelings and my frustration at his way of communication and my abruptness. His family is FAR more polite than mine. Mine is far more direct. I prefer direct but really wish we’d hit that happy medium. I think most of our kids are more balanced because of our conflict?

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My mom was the mediator on anything we needed to take to my dad. He worked 2nd shift/weekends, so we only saw him a few nights a week. My dad was a great guy, but needed to be in the mood to be approached about things that would stress him - like spending more money. He was very routined and disliked when that shifted. As we got older, it became more talk it out. My parents had arguments, but very rarely. 

My mom and sister were like oil & water, their personalities clash so they fought more. 

As a parent, I talked with ds a lot. Exdh was a bit of a bull in china shop and wasn't the best at handling conflict because he had a short fuse. He also wasn't great about reading subtlety. 

Now, ds will still come to me when there are issues. My mom is still good about talking through things. My boyfriend and I talk through things. 

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My parents screamed at each other and screamed at me. My way or the highway was their thinking. They could not look at how the other one thought. So when I start to get upset, I always look at things from the other person's point of view. It is often as valid as my own. My husband and I do not fight.

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12 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

My mother was a doormat - and it made me really angry.  I'd come out fighting.

I think this is happening in my house these days.  I think I need a sit-down with two sets of parties.

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2 hours ago, kristin0713 said:

My family - hash it out, yell about it, work it out and move on.

DH's family - avoid, sweep under the rug, let bitterness grow for 10-15 years and then accuse others of something they did that long ago via passive-aggressive comments

It is still amazing to me that my DH is the man that he is after growing up in that environment.  We had some bumps in working through communication initially. He always thought I was mad at him when I would address things directly and he thought my sister and I were always yelling at each other until we told him, this is just how we talk!  His mom thought that I was rude (probably still does) because I prefer to deal with things rather than let them fester for years on end.  DH's eyes were opened to the unhealthy ways of his family and he quickly grew to appreciate the direct and healthy communication of mine. We communicate well.  And we have had to put up strong boundaries with his family.  They will never change. It's weird and has led to generations of problems that will never be resolved because of their unwillingness to talk, listen to each other, and work things out. 

My mom was single and flying by the seat of her pants most times.  We are a loud family....I remember my best friend telling me how terrified she was when we yelled then she was amazed that 5 minutes later we were at the dinner table together saying, pass the ketchup please.  Her home was waaaay different.  Everyone walked around on egg shells trying to appease the dad.  He is a good man---still married to their mom for like 65 years now.....and still fairly difficult to deal with.  

Families are different.  And families grow.  My mom and I haven't yelled at each other in  many many years.  But she can still be difficult for me to deal with.  

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1 hour ago, BlsdMama said:

As a kid? Loved my dads style- get upset only when absolutely called for, holler and bluster a bit, go on with life. My mom wold work hard to overcome a scenario or not get upset until she couldn’t hold it in any longer because addressing calmly never got anyone to pay much attention. My dad is easy going to the point of non observant so she didn’t really have an other half in life adventures for the hard stuff because little (and big) things rarely phased him... Even when there really was an issue.  I am both of them - I tend to let a lot slide but when I can’t, I  go from 0 to 10 in frustration. I despise passive aggressiveness. I hit things head on and very directly. I’m getting better at finesse, lol, but still find it a time waster. 
 

My Dh and I are your parents. He is just so easy going. We have a situation going on in our family that is frankly pretty heartbreaking for both of us, but I am the one dealing with it all. He is so laid back that he thinks it is going to all work out in the end. If it does work out, it will be by the Grace of God and a lot of hard work from me. That is pretty indicative of how we handle both conflict and child raising.

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2 hours ago, kristin0713 said:

My family - hash it out, yell about it, work it out and move on.

DH's family - avoid, sweep under the rug, let bitterness grow for 10-15 years and then accuse others of something they did that long ago via passive-aggressive comments

It is still amazing to me that my DH is the man that he is after growing up in that environment.  We had some bumps in working through communication initially. He always thought I was mad at him when I would address things directly and he thought my sister and I were always yelling at each other until we told him, this is just how we talk!  His mom thought that I was rude (probably still does) because I prefer to deal with things rather than let them fester for years on end.  DH's eyes were opened to the unhealthy ways of his family and he quickly grew to appreciate the direct and healthy communication of mine. We communicate well.  And we have had to put up strong boundaries with his family.  They will never change. It's weird and has led to generations of problems that will never be resolved because of their unwillingness to talk, listen to each other, and work things out. 

I have observed this dynamic a lot in families: some family cultures are just “loud”. The spectrum of emotions are shouted (positive or negative), and it’s very startling to those of us raised in stoic families. 🙂 I think the benefit is that things get resolved quickly, regardless of the volume. 

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This is actually an interesting question because I've never really thought about it before in terms of "conflict".

My dad was a "brick wall" conflict avoider in that he never showed any type of emotional upset in conflict-type situations. But, he didn't seem to be unhealthily conflict avoidant. It's kind of hard to explain, but he was always patient and even-keeled - very much "like water off a ducks back" type of personality where his feathers just did not get ruffled. If someone was upset about something he'd sit right there silently and let them say their piece until they exhausted their grievance out, then  resume normal conversation with them.

He was endlessly patient and never really got upset in any non-conflict situations, either. He'd just methodically plod along and do what needed to be done - for example, when machinery broke down while farming, he never cursed or yelled or got upset, he'd just fix the problem and carry on. Or when I wrecked his truck when I was a teen, his exact words to me were "smooth move ex-lax" 😂 and that was it. He got the truck fixed and never mentioned it again. He was the epitome of "mind like water mindfulness" without ever having studied Buddhism or any "new-age" spiritual stuff. It was just his personality.

My mom is a people-pleaser and externally conflict-avoidant, but is not shy about voicing her opinions and "lessons learned" to us.

My parents loved each other and treated each other with kindness until the day my dad passed away, so conflict within the home growing up was super rare. If my mom was upset about anything (rare!) she'd say her piece while my Dad was his "brick wall" self until she calmed down. Then they'd discuss resolutions to whatever the issue was.

I'm a mix of my Mom and Dad, but I'm better at setting boundaries thanks to Mom's lessons learned from conflict avoidance. It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers like Dad, but I will speak up if I need to. If I am in conflict DH about something, I do try to work through my feelings myself first, then if I feel like I need to speak up about something, I do.  We don't yell or scream or do drama. Sometimes we need to take breaks to collect our thoughts, so some discussions are ongoing for awhile.

DH and I are both easy-going parents, so getting upset with the kids isn't much of a thing. If we do need to confront something, it's usually just a conversation about expectations.

Edited by fraidycat
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4 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

Sometimes I’m not sure how to define ‘conflict’. Does whining because I didn’t want to do my chores count? Begging to stay out late? Because I don’t remember a whole lot of remarkable conflict outside of stuff like that except when I was a much older teen.

My house was often full of yelling, but not in a way that scared anyone. (I’ve learned as an adult that yelling scares people outside of my bubble.) We are loud people and any sort of excitement, even positive, is basically yelled.

I think both my parents are conflict avoidant, and my mom to an annoying degree now.

Dh is conflict avoidant, and it makes me nuts. I want to talk about things, and I will sometimes provoke a fight if that’s what it takes to get there.

But, again, what’s a ‘fight’? In my mind, it’s just a loud discussion when people are frustrated that they’re not agreeing. I know there’s more to it for people with different backgrounds. Like dh.

What scares me is not being understood and not understanding others.

I, too, wonder what counts as conflict. I'm an only child, so there was no sibling conflict at my house. I don't remember my parents arguing, ever, although they divorced when I was in middle school. 

DH and I talk things out, but we also just let things go. Usually I don't care too much about whatever we're discussing and I just get sick of talking about it, and forget what we were even disagreeing about in the first place! Then DH likes to go waaaay back to the beginning of the conversation, re-tell the whole thing: "You said blah blah, then I said blah blah, and then you said..." I find that exhausting! 

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