Avoiding conflict in various situations, to prevent the situation getting worse.


Questions about conflicts between people, and ideally how to resolve/deal with them.

Both tags have been used more than 60 times. Is there any significant difference between the two? If not, I'd suggest merging them (or making synonyms).

To me, the questions tagged with these have a lot in common that I do not see any reason why any of these questions cannot be tagged with the other tag. What do you think?

  • 1
    I want to upvote the question for raising a good point, but I want to downvote because I disagree (there is big difference between avoiding conflict before it starts and ending conflict once it happens). Net zero.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 11:03
  • @Nij How would voting up or down on this question indicate that? I did not choose any one side. I'm merely asking for what the community thinks.
    – NVZ
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 14:51
  • 1
    It seems to be the norm here to vote up or down Meta questions based on the voter's feeling about the idea under discussion. On other SE metas I'm familiar with that's SOP for feature request questions, but not so much for pure discussion; however, here it seems to go for pretty much every meta question.
    – 1006a
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 18:16

3 Answers 3


When I read "conflict" I think, somebody has a question about a conflict.

When I read "conflict-aversion" I think, somebody is very keen (for whatever reason) to avoid conflict.

So the two terms do not seem to mean the same thing. Some people's excessive conflict-aversion may even avoid conflict in a sense, but can itself cause or complicate interpersonal problems.

Example: a woman asking the hypothetical question "how can I address the extreme emotional coldness of my spouse without endangering the future of my marriage -- I want to absolutely avoid any sort of confrontation/argument over this issue" might well use the tag "conflict-aversion" rather than "conflict." Same with someone asking "how can I deal with an extremely aggressive boss without creating any problem in the workplace?"

It is also notable that you found both tags were used over 60 times. Wouldn't merging the 2 tags make more sense if one of them were being used much more often than the other? In fact I found a few instances where both tags were used on the same question.

Update: as noted by OP @NVZ in comments, one tag (conflict-aversion) has been used 120 times and the other only 60. However, 60 is not like 5 @NVZ. Given the option of "conflicts" and "conflict-aversion" around 35% users are choosing "conflicts" (60% chose "aversion" and 5% used both) and that is significant.

Short term solution: there is a subtle difference between the 2 tags and both have been used over 60 times here, so there seems not enough reason to merge them right now: but we can review a few months later.

  • Well, one tag was used 120 times, and the other 60.
    – NVZ
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 14:52
  • However, 60 is not like 5 @NVZ. Given the option of "conflicts" and "conflict-aversion" around 35% users are choosing "conflicts" (60% chose "aversion" and 5% used both) and that is significant. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 16:00
  • 2
    I agree. My guess is that if we merged them, whichever one we dropped would just get created again. Someone in the middle of a disagreement would see conflict-aversion and think "Too late for that! What I need is a conflict tag! Hmm, that doesn't work...I know, conflict**s**!" and on the other hand another user, seeing conflict, might think "No, no, no, I hate conflict—I want to avoid conflict at all costs! What I need is a conflict-avoidance tag!"
    – 1006a
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 18:05
  • Very true @1006a. Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 14:07

I like what's already been said, but I have enough left to say that I'm going to post a separate answer vs a comment.

In my opinion, and how I've been using these tags are significantly different, outlined below:


  • OP is seeking help with situation where conflict already exists (an argument/fight/etc. has already happened)
  • Solutions should focus on IPS that assist in damage control, compromise, etc.

Conflict Aversion

  • OP or other involved person(s) are likely agitated with one another, but the situation hasn't blown up into an actual "conflict" yet (no fights yet, but with no change to situation it is inevitable)
  • Solutions should focus on IPS that help involved parties talk about (or otherwise address) the reasons for their agitation without escalating the problem any further (avoiding conflict)

Because of this, my opinion is that it's important these tags stay separated.


Technically there's a difference, but in practice they seem to be used interchangeably.

ought to be used on questions looking to avoid potential conflicts.

ought to be used when the conflict is already in play, or the conflict is unavoidable.

Basically not all conflicts ought to be avoided, and not all questions about conflict involve parties that are conflict adverse.

With that said, I doubt it's really worth the time and effort involved in strictly distinguishing and sorting the two. Probably best to just merge them as people will probably continue to use them interchangeably.

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