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Men Avoid Conflict

Studies have shown that relationship conflict is more stressful for men than women.  I have found that to be true in my practice as well.  Why do you think men avoid conflict?  For one thing, men tend to be problem solvers and fixers, but most men don’t realize that their need forresolution relates to their discomfort with conflict.  Interpersonal conflict may require more in-depth conversations and have multiple solutions which can create anxiety and frustration for men looking for a quick fix.  Women have an easier time processing, discussing, and dealing with conflict since they have better relational skills.    Many of the men I work with in therapy internalize their conflict until they explode and express it inappropriately.  One on my famous quotes is;  “conflict that remains in your head will never be resolved, it needs to reach your lips.”   Deal with conflict directly, but be aware of confronting conflict appropriately without alienating others.  For example, “use I instead of you” and express your feelings without telling the other person what to do.  Many couples are surprised to find that successful conflict resolution results in greater connectedness and intimacy.

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