How can you tell what her style is? If you’ve been together for a year, it’s probably easy to tell. If you haven’t had an argument during that time, she’s an Avoider (and you probably are too). If you’ve had several arguments where she has ended up crying or yelling, she’s probably a Debater. And if you’ve had calm conversations sitting on the couch where it felt like you were in a therapy session, she’s likely a Compromiser.
But how can you tell what kind of conflict style someone has before you get that deeply into a relationship? The Debaters are usually easy to spot. They bring up controversial topics in social settings and are likely to be the ones doing most of the talking (and loudly) during those conversations. You get the feeling from them that they like to be right all the time.
Compromisers are often the ones in the group that recognize if someone is uncomfortable (with the conversation topic or with social situations in general) or if someone has a headache or other physical malady. They are likely to ask about these things without the person having verbally expressed any discomfort. When others are arguing or debating a topic, Compromisers will make clarifying statements ( “so what x seems to be saying is…,” “do you mean…?”), and they will ask questions before expressing their own opinion on the matter.
Avoiders are more difficult to suss out because some Avoiders do enjoy intellectual debate but abhor arguments of the personal kind. Some clues might be bitching about problems at work that she has never brought to the attention of her boss, shutting down when someone contradicts her, and ignoring social slights or oversights, such as the host forgetting to make the drink that he said he would get for her.
Figure out what your style is and find someone who matches or is compatible with you.
Up Next: Values Wrap-up