Upon a reader’s request, I am writing about this topic. I will share with you my own thoughts. Feel free to comment.
Confrontation is like a sword with two edges; it can clear up any misunderstandings and clears the air or it can create more conflict and the issue may escalate to a worse level.
Do I support confrontation? Personally I will admit I am not a big fan of this approach. I am not exactly sure as to why I do not like confrontation; there could be more than one reason. First reason I can say is due to the fact that I do not feel comfortable in situations where I am faced with someone I have issues with. Secondly, I do not want to make things worse than they already are. Another reason is due to the fact that I always care for other people’s feelings. I worry sometimes that I may hurt the person I am confronting unintentionally. I am not scared of the confrontation per say, I just choose to eliminate it from my life if possible. Having said that, there are times in our lives when we are forced in confrontational situations, sometimes for our benefit and sometimes against us.
There is always a risk you take when you decide to confront. You can lose that person forever if it gets really ugly. There is also a risk in not confronting since you can lose the person by not talking things out and holding grudges.
Sometimes it is healthy to walk away without understanding completely what is going on, without fighting, without yelling, without using inappropriate words. These methods never really solved anything in life, makes matters worse if anything.
So what is the solution? Confront or no confront? Seems like damned if you do and damned if you don’t!!
The way I look at it is: “use your own discretion” situation by situation. There is no one rule to follow because every situation is different. The people differ, the reasons differ, the consequences differ and the level of importance differs. By that I mean see if it is really worth getting into a showdown for. Also a confrontation does not have to be a rough approach. It has a misconception I believe. Whenever the word ‘confrontation’ arises, we automatically think negative thoughts and assume a quarrel of some sort. There is no need for it to turn out into a dramatic experience. It is a disagreement and difference of opinions nonetheless.
Instead of calling it ‘confrontation’, why don’t we call it ‘discussing’ or ‘straightening things out’ or even ‘clearing the air’. These are more positive words to use and the expectation is also positive. The energy from saying affirmative words will actually result in a good outcome. Who said that confrontation has to be rough anyways? It is in our hands to let the situation be under control or allow it to get out of hand.
Our attitude towards the approach can make or break the situation. If we go in the conversation with the intention of proving we are ‘right‘ and the other person is ‘wrong‘… well then kiss this ‘conversation‘ goodbye. If we approach the person with animosity, if we put up walls, if we get defensive, if we don’t allow ourselves to hear what the other person has to say … if we go into this conversation with one goal only; which is to ‘so called win’… then the outcome will be disastrous – because there will be no winner at the end of it all.
What is there to win anyways? Why do we always want to prove something? Why do we think we are always right?
If we only allow ourselves to open our hearts and minds, we can resolve the issues at hand. If we allow feelings of love instead of resentment; despite what the person has done to us, maybe we will get somewhere. I know it is not always possible to take the logical and peaceful route because we are humans. It is natural for us to have mixed feelings and react to our emotions. I do believe however, that we can control our emotions and choose a better way in dealing with conflicts in our lives and in handling those who hurt us in a manner that we can be proud of. As a result, every conflict we encounter, every person we face, will make us stronger individuals and ready to face tougher experiences in life coming our way that we have no clue about.
If only we approach things more positively, if only we allowed ourselves to forgive, if only we became less self-absorbed and more aware of the bigger picture. If only we opened our eyes to see what is right in front of us, if only we loved a little more and disliked a little less, if only we realized there is nothing to win, if only we stopped to think more often ….. We will live better lives and we will truly leave a positive mark on this earth.
In conclusion, I say throw the word ‘confrontation’ out of your vocabulary. Replace it with a more positive word of your liking that will help you face your issues with life itself and with whomever you may have a disagreement with. Understand that not every problem can be resolved with discussions. Sometimes it is best to take the high road. Walk away if no good will come out of the discussion. If you feel it is the best way to handle a situation, then fear not saying how you feel and how you think on the subject. You can do so while being as calm as possible and remember not to point any fingers or lay down any accusations. Calling names will not resolve anything.
Put yourself in that person’s shoes and think about how it will make you feel if these words were said to you. Be honest, yet kind. Choose your words carefully since you cannot take any of them back. Have no concern of the outcome. Focus on the moment at hand while being true to yourself. Listen to what the other person is saying – I mean really listen instead of preparing your next come back like it is a battle to be won. When you are wrong, there is no shame in admitting you are and there is nothing weak about saying “I’m sorry”. If the conversation is leading nowhere, then let it be. Agree to disagree if you can. One thing I urge you to refrain from is to admit you are wrong and apologize for something you did not do. Stand your ground however do not react irrationally.
There is no need to be aggressive, it will not accomplish anything positive, it will not make the other person change his/her mind and it will definitely not make him/her hear you out if they choose not to. Depending on your relation with that person, you may try communicating more than once and if the result is the same every time with no evident resolution, then it is sometimes healthier to move on with your life, put the past behind including the person you are dealing with. The situation may resolve itself one day and the person might see the light and approach you one day to your surprise and it may never get resolved and you just have to let it go. Regardless you need to be prepared for whichever way it goes, accept it for now, as you will understand it later.
I leave you with a thought from Dr. Wayne Dyer – without recalling word for word in which he said: “When faced with a choice to be right versus kind – always choose kind”.