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Is Your Conflict Resolution Style Making You Fat? July 3, 2010

Posted by Jen in Emotional Eating, Weight Loss.
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There are five basic ways to solve a conflict, some more successful than others. And when I say successful, some of them are good for your waistline and some of them are not. First, a breakdown of the ways to solve conflict. Which one resonates with you?

The Competitor: You want it to be your way, other people’s opinions be damned. You are aggressive and assertive. You may frequently be the winner of the conflicts in your life, but at what expense? Others often feel frustrated by your lack of understanding a cooperation. Is it making you fat? Maybe. If you tend to have the desire to always win, something deeper is going on. Do you have to win because losing would make you a “bad” person? Did someone in your life tell you you were a loser, and you’re trying to prove them wrong? If listening to anyone else’s opinion opens up scary feelings for you, you may have a tendency to turn to food after a conflict, if only to make certain the bad thoughts don’t poke their little heads up.

The Avoider: You know who you are. You avoid any and all situations in which conflict may arise. You may completely abandon the person with whom you are having the conflict, because confronting it is way too difficult for you. Is it making you fat? Yes. There is something dark and scary lurking in the halls of your mind if you feel the need to run away from conflict every single time you face it. You’re that much more likely to hit the potato chips when you feel scared or anxious, because food is yet another way to avoid scary feelings.

The Accommodator: If a conflict comes up, you may try to deal with it, but ultimately you put the other person’s needs ahead of yours. It seems easier, you feel like you’re being kind, and the other person seems happy. It seems like a winning situation, but in the end the accommodator ends up resentful and wanting their own needs met. Is it making you fat? Yes. I am a slowly recovering extreme accommodator, so I know! When conflict steps into your life, you will generally choose to do the thing someone else wants you to do, even if it’s not on the top of your list. With that comes fear of what would happen if you actually did put your needs first, not to mention the anger associated with ignoring your deep desires. Definitely a prime situation to hit the fridge in order to avoid facing tough feelings.

The Compromisor: You’re both willing to state your opinion and listen to others. You want to find a solution that meets in the middle. You may sometimes feel like you’re “giving in” to another person’s needs, but you’ll have made your needs clear before coming up with a solution. Is it making you fat? Probably not. If you’re open and honest about what you want, while also allowing the other person to state their opinion, there’s a good chance you’re a pro and dealing with your feelings. No reason to overeat here!

The Collaborator: You’re cooperative and assertive, and seek to come up with a solution that is a win on both sides. Slightly different from the compromisor, you work hard to make sure both sides are contributing to the solution so no one feels as though they have lost. Is it making you fat? No. You want to be heard, but you want to hear others, too. You’re willing to put in the time and effort to make certain all sides are getting their needs met. You’re great at dealing with your feelings and others, leaving you free to enjoy your days instead of stuffing down your feelings.

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