Friday, 3 February 2017

Don't avoid confrontation


Some people love it. They like to be amongst it. They are energised by it. They like to get into debates about anything and everything.

A lot of us also like avoid it if at all possible. We think that this is the best way because if we are avoiding it, we are making our lives less stressful. In fact the opposite applies. The more we let it build up the more difficult it will be to face in the future.

Why do we avoid confrontation?

1. You are not confident about your thoughts and opinions

This is an interesting one. When you are a quieter person you will naturally not share your opinions anyway but when you lack confidence you are scared to say them because you fear being knocked down. People who are good talkers (by that I mean they talk a lot) will on occasions shoot you down without thinking about your feelings in the moment. Even if their opinion is wrong and has the wrong information they will just say you are wrong so that they can continue talking and when this happens we just shut down so that we don't got through the embarrassment again.

2. Negative experiences

This relates to the previous point. We have a negative experience and we relate that to confrontation so we avoid it.

3. We don't want to hurt someone's feelings

Recently I received an email requesting something. I opened it and read it. It was quite late at night at the end of the week and sent a very terse email back. Very confrontational. The receiver replied apologising to me for making me feel uncomfortable when in fact I should have been the one apologising as I was overly confrontational. Generally we will avoid sending these kind of emails when we should really do. My reaction was not warranted at that time but in other circumstances I should write like that because it warrants it.

4. Lack of confidence

Shy guys will be able to relate to this. They see someone that they are attracted to and they want to go up and say hi but they are held back. Why? Because of the fear of confrontation. Think about it. Approaching someone is a form of confrontation. You are interrupting their day to say hi, or ask for something or ask for a date or a coffee etc. If it is man on woman in the street you are basically challenging them to say yes or no. When you have a lack of confidence you will avoid this situation and as I said before this festers and you feel worse and worse. It's like ripping a band aid off. If you do it straight away, of course it will sting but you will get over it. If you keep it on thinking about it, it will hurt, you mind will make up ways to not do it and you existence will not be very good for a long time.

How do you get over your fear of confrontation?

Using the band aid analogy you just have to rip off, i.e. talk about straight away. The more you let it fester, the worse you will feel and the harder it will be to talk about it at a later date.

At the end of the day, which is the better solution an awkward conversation for 7 minutes or 3 weeks of doubt, worry and anxiety?

I think the answer to that is very clear.

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