Tips for Handling Confrontation

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Tips for Handling Confrontation

tips for handling confrontation

No one – at least no one worth knowing – likes confrontation. Even for people who handle it with grace, confrontation is at best an inconvenience and at worst terrifying. Fear of confrontation is common in both personal and professional spaces. It’s as common as it is necessary, and an inability to talk about uncomfortable issues can lead to deep resentment and lasting scars on a relationship. Here are some tips to overcoming your fear of confrontation.

Why Are You Scared?

Before you prepare for any confrontation, it helps to understand why you fear it. Some common reasons include:

  • Did your family not talk about things growing up? Were you reprimanded when you stuck up for yourself?
  • Are you worried that the confrontation could end a friendship or make work a nightmare?
  • Women in particular struggle with workplace confrontation.
  • Self-Esteem. You may not think the issue is worth confronting, or even that you deserve it.

Make Sure You Prepare

First, make sure you have a specific thing to point out. A statement like “you’re annoying me” doesn’t mean much. Instead, think of a specific behavior the person did that you would like to discuss. Maybe they said a particularly upsetting thing to you, or have a consistent habit that damages your relationship.

Also, know what you want to say. You don’t have to recite lines like you’re doing Shakespeare, but a few shower or mirror rehearsals when you’re alone can do wonders for organizing your thoughts.

Know What You Want

What do you want the outcome of this confrontation to be? Do you want an apology? Do you want the person to change? Sometimes just acknowledgement is enough.

Is this potentially a breakup, or the end of a friendship? In that case, you should have a plan for if the worst occurs. Know where you can go or who you can turn to for emotional support.

Let Go of the Outcome

With confrontation and with relationships, one thing rings true: you cannot control other people. No matter how well you prepare, no matter how carefully you speak, the other person may not take the confrontation well. They may get angry, or mean, or not even listen to you. The important thing is that you did this for yourself.

Are issues like depression or anxiety getting in the way of your confrontational skills? Cognitive behavioral therapy can help! Azevedo Family Psychology helps patients around the Triangle dig into their trauma, overcome their fears, and create a life worth celebrating. Contact us today.

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