Extreme Fear of Conflict

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plantsandworms

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Extreme Fear of Conflict
« on: April 18, 2019, 07:20:47 PM »
I have such an extreme fear of conflict with others and of being vulnerable that sometimes I feel like the only solution is to completely remove myself from society. I'm in my late 20s now and it feels like it's only getting worse as I age and the list of ways I have been mistreated grows longer. I'm really struggling to imagine a future for myself in which I don't feel this way until I die, and that's a pretty hopeless picture. I've been in therapy and it helps with a lot of things but not yet with this. I wish I could just wake up tomorrow and be a different person but I know that I can't, and I don't want to live this way forever. How do I begin to deal with my complete lack of self-esteem and my extreme social fears?

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Kizzie

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Re: Extreme Fear of Conflict
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 04:17:58 PM »
Unfortunately most of us with CPTSD don't have the skills other people do so we need to learn or relearn them. As a place to start, what about Googling managing interpersonal conflict and see what information/suggestions are available?  For example, here's just one that popped up and it seems to have a lot of quality info/suggestions -https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/conflict-resolution.html. 

You could also focus on the issue with a therapist so you learn how to manage it and feel better able to deal with it. 

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saturnine

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Re: Extreme Fear of Conflict
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2019, 07:28:50 PM »
I have the same fear, and I also avoid people to the point where I've nearly completely isolated myself because I can't deal with conflict. I think the missing piece, the thing that I'm missing is the inherent trust that I will be okay no matter what. If someone has an issue with me, that does not mean that I'm in danger physically, psychically, or even emotionally. It's a deeply learned response from childhood that I need to unlearn, but because I've cut myself off from society I'm worried I'll never get the chance to practice. The best thing I think I can do now is to just keep working on myself...keep developing trust in myself, trust that the world is a mostly benevolent place and things will work out. The more of an unshakeable inner self I build, the more I might be able to tolerate conflict, knowing it won't bowl me over as easily.

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nina

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Re: Extreme Fear of Conflict
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 04:00:55 PM »
Same with me. Someone advised me to try doing small things that someone would not like and see what happens (of course as long as I want them). So to learn on examples that I did something that could upset someone, but I am still alive and no one hates me for that (I am talking of stuff like taking a seat in metro,  or taking a piece of cake where there is less pieces left than the people in the room). But still have not managed to get a substantial change there. Even a small thing causes almost a panic attack.

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Kizzie

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Re: Extreme Fear of Conflict
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 05:45:30 PM »
Good for you for trying out some new behaviour Nina, I think that's a great way to unlearn things that are almost automatic responses because of the trauma we endured. Start small and work up from there.  :thumbup:

I've been working on seeing/feeling my usual trauma responses (fight/flight/freeze/fawn) firing up before they take hold without me even quite realizing it. That let's me ask myself if my reaction is warranted and gives me a little time to think before doing anything. Seems to be helping thankfully.

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nina

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Re: Extreme Fear of Conflict
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 06:52:07 PM »
Thanks, what I wrote was supposed to be an advice though, not asking for support :D What I meant: I was given this advice, and even though I find it hard, maybe it can work better for someone else, since it sounds quite plausible in my opinion.

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Rainagain

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Re: Extreme Fear of Conflict
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2020, 02:24:04 AM »
This is probably madness but I think self defence training or martial arts might be useful.
I used to get this training for work, it both becomes automatic as a response if needed and the repetitive nature of it is quite enjoyable after a while.

I still isolate myself but I tell myself it is a choice rather than a necessity coming from fear.

This probably makes no sense at all.

Re: Extreme Fear of Conflict
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2020, 03:14:06 AM »
My fear of conflict manifests as feelings of guilt for not 'speaking up' when I 'should have'. For instance if I am in a conversation where someone starts making sexist or racist comments I clam up and say nothing. Then I torture myself endlessly for not standing up for what I believe in. These are only two examples but there are countless others all the time, even trivial things that don't really matter at all or wouldn't cause any real conflict I never 'disagree' with what is being said. Then I carry the guilt and shame.