Couples Fighting Styles: The Peacemaker
Fearful of rejection, the peacemaker will be clingy and apologetic. They will readily back down and try to avoid conflict altogether. Relationship psychotherapist Paula Hall gives her advice on dealing with the peacemaker.
Step 1: Description
The peacemaker fears rejection and will often try far too hard to avoid conflict altogether. They will try to be calm, reasonable and measured. They will often be the first to back down or apologise, and as a result frequently fail to have their needs met. This can result in a growing feeling of resentment.
Step 2: If you are…
If you are an appeaser, you need to recognise that you have needs - and it is ok to want these to be met. If you don't, you may be building a deep well of bitterness and resentment.
Learn to be assertive. Take time to consider what you really think, and become familiar with your own point of view. Choose your battles wisely - sometimes it may be perfectly appropriate to be a peacemaker - but when there is something that really matters to you, learn to stick your ground.
Step 3: If your partner is…
It may be tempting to try and provoke your partner's anger. However, that will probably only lead to more frustration - as you get more angry they will try to calm you down even more. Instead get in touch with your rational side. Ask them, "what's your opinion on this?". Reassure them that you won't get into an argument but that you care about what they think and want them to tell you. Also, give plenty of reassurance that it is ok to disagree.