Conflicts can be difficult for many people. Very often, we hear our clients say timidly: “I do not know how to handle conflict. Immediately, tears come to me and it becomes impossible to continue the argument.”
There may be several reasons why this is happening.
1. You are a highly sensitive person.
People do not choose hypersensitivity as a trait, just like they cannot choose their type of temperament or other personality traits. They just have it… If you are an HSP, then there is a high probability that in emotionally stressful situations you will experience strong discomfort. And conflicts are just such a situation. Conflicts are difficult for a sensitive person because emotions (their own and those of others) completely overwhelm them. Hypersensitivity provokes a special susceptibility to stimuli – an acute reaction to events that are perceived as hostile, even when they may not be hostile from the “generally accepted” point of view. Someone can shrug it off: oh well, I had an argument, what is the big deal? But HSPs feel themselves amid negative energy, where they need to defend themselves. And this is very alarming for them!
Uma hates conflicts and tries to avoid them in any way possible, even at the cost of her comfort. She is scared that everyone will start quarrelling and arguing. Loud sounds bring stress to her, and she also becomes scared – what if she will offend someone?
2. You have had traumatic experiences in the past.
When Ali was little, his parents used to fight all the time. They shouted at each other and did not notice little Ali, who was very afraid that now his mom and dad would divorce and… leave him. Now Ali is 28, but when he hears a quarrel, tears involuntarily come to his eyes. He tries to hide them because it looks strange to others.
If quarrels and disputes trigger some other situation from your past, you should try to unwind this jumble. It is better to do it together with a psychologist.
3. You have an anxious attachment style.
In this case, you may be afraid that the conflict will end in a breakup. Instead of defending your point of view, you fear that your partner will leave you.
4. Tears are how you express your anger.
If you were often told in childhood that being angry is bad and aggression is not for girls, then tears can become a kind of reaction that is outwardly “weak” (I cry), but in essence, is an expression of anger.
This is the case with Anna. When she has a conflict, she begins to cry, although, in reality, she is very angry. She may be angry at her partner who did not keep his promise, at her boss who makes her work overtime, at the driver who cut her off on the street and showed her a finger…
As you can see, there are many reasons why people may cry during conflicts. To choose the most effective strategy to deal with this issue it is best to work with a psychologist. Together, you can investigate your behavioral patterns. If you identify the reason – you are halfway there!
But there are things you can do right now.
1. If you feel that tears are rolling in – suggest taking a break for a while (ten minutes will be enough). Use this time to calm down.
2. Use breathing techniques to relax: take four deep breaths in and out in a rhythm that is comfortable for you. Hold your breath and count to seven. On the count of 8, exhale sloooowly.
3. Consciously switch your attention from the object that provokes negativity to something else. It may be some thought that will improve your well-being and mood.