Types of unhealthy conflict

Some see all conflict as bad and unhealthy, but until heaven we are going to have conflict and through Jesus we can have healthy conflict. To help us identify healthy conflict I thought I would start us off looking at unhealthy conflict. Which one best fits you?

There is the avoider: This person avoids conflict at all costs. Adam does this as he is hiding in the bushes. If conflict happens they avoid the subject, what are you talking about, I’m fine, and if pressed they will literally start to walk the other way. They are usually peacekeepers, generally optimistic, and in the midst of conflict just assume it didn’t happen.


There is the confronter: Who for some strange reason enjoys conflict. Enjoys the tension. It makes them feel alive and they can feel the blood pumping. Their brain doesn’t lock up in conflict they tend to process better and faster in conflict. When they are pressed they can often intimidate, bully, or push their way through conflict.

There is the victim: This person always feels neglected, overlooked, hurt, and even if they are responsible for the conflict they will somehow turn the responsibility around on other people. They are always innocent. When they are pressed they tend to respond in an emotional range of crying to anger to bitterness trying to find the one emotion that gets people to feel sorry for them to deflect conflict.

There is the deflector: This person always manages to deflect the responsibility of the conflict on someone else. Adam does this later on in chapter 3. He tells God, “It’s the woman you gave me.” Like a little kid, “They did it first.” It’s the spouse, the boss, the children, the government and someone else is always at fault. If all else fails they can just conclude with the immortal response, “Well, they are just stupid.” Again deflecting the conflict away from themselves.

On some level we all have some combination of all of these attributes. Which one fits you the best?

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