Does it seem you are constantly in the center of drama, or difficult situations? Do chaos and conflict seem to just follow you? Are buttons constantly pushed, tempers rising, and nerves snapping when you’re around?
It might not be a curse or coincidence. You may be addicted to conflict and simply unaware.
Some people find comfort in conflict and seek it out. They even feel a sense of accomplishment after winning an argument and can sometimes thrive off confrontation.
Can you relate?
What Is A “Conflict Addict”?
A conflict addict is a person that will seek out conflict, losing themselves in perceived disrespect, disputes, and dissent. In the heat of the moment, they may risk their reputations or relationships to “win” an argument. They may even intentionally create conflict in everyday situations because the instability and impermanence feel safer and more familiar than long stretches of peace or happiness.
In addition, some conflict addicts seek conflict because it actually creates a chemical reaction in their brains. Their brains are rewarded with a flood of stress-induced adrenaline created by an altercation.
Do you feel low and listless after conflict? When the conflict dies down, you may feel let down or unable to relax. Conflict addicts will often seek out the high of negative engagement to feel alive and connected.
What Happens If All You Ever Are Is Angry
So, what happens when you have an overwhelming desire to find fault, pick a fight, or start trouble? Though being angry and causing arguments can make you feel powerful and engaged, it obviously gets in the way of your goals and relational needs in the long run.
Being a conflict addict and constantly angry can make it hard for you to build healthy relationships, cause problems in your career and pursuits, or even put you at risk. You may even seek dangerous situations in order tostoke conflict, the fallout of which could harm others.
If you’re always angry and contentious, you are likely to hurt people’s feelings, lose friendships, break down romantic connections, and isolate yourself from others.
To turn things around, your anger must be addressed from the inside out.
How To Manage Your Anger
What’s at the root of your negative emotions and temper? Anger can stem from traumatic past experiences, or mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or unchecked stress. Working with a therapist can help you become more self-aware and reflective.
This, of course, takes time. As you explore the roots of your aggression, improve your coping skills, and learn to manage your anger issues. The following will help mitigate the need to incite conflict:
Think or take a breath before you speak
In a moment of irritation, you can say hurtful things that you may regret. Intentionally slow your thoughts and think before you speak. You cannot easily undo the damage created by outraged, impulsive interaction.
Take a time–out to cool off
If you feel your anger rising, excuse yourself and then take a moment to yourself. Gather your thoughts and challenge your heightened emotions. Ask yourself whether it is wise to continue your pursuit of the conflict. Consider the consequences if you do.
Practice some calming, soothing techniques such as deep breathing, listening to music, or doing some journaling.This can help reduce the impetus to pick a fight at all. This also helps redirect your thoughts and relax you. Physical exercise such as walking or running can also help clear your mind.
Lighten the mood with humor
Things won’t always go your way, take a step back and find the humor in the situation. Learn to smile or laugh and move through the negativity. Not everything is worth a fight.
Let go of the past
conflict addicts often feel offended or outraged routinely. This leads to prolonged blaming, prejudice, resentment, and contempt for others. Holding grudges over something that has happened and you cannot change just fills you with bad thoughts, feelings, and energy. You’ll become consumed by your own bitterness, and negative thoughts will fill your mind. Let go and move on with the help of supportive loved ones and a therapist.
Seek Advice and Assistance
If you feel that your anger is a problem, you don’t have to face it alone. Seeking a therapist may prove invaluable as you get to the heart of your need for conflict. Whether you need to explore unresolved trauma or put your response to unhelpful relationships in perspective, professional help is available.
If you’re ready for less self-inflicted drama and more internal peace, please contact Integrative Psychotherapy Group for support and treatment.