Confrontation – Keys to Handling Confrontation Well (Ezine Article)

By Lynne Lee | Submitted On June 02, 2007

Do you go to great lengths to avoid conflict and keep the peace?

Do you run a mile to avoid confrontation?

Do you store resentment rather than approach people about their constant lateness, repeated last minute cancellations or general lack of consideration?

You’re not alone. We all want to be admired and liked. Most people don’t want to cause upset by confronting people. But putting up with bad treatment actually harms relationships. Bottling things up causes pressure and leaves you open to the risk of exploding. Confrontation may not be pleasant but it is sometimes necessary. It’s time to start standing up for yourself.

If you’re harbouring anger it will manifest itself in one way or another, regardless of how well you think you have it under control. Your annoyance will come out in other ways and undermine your relationships anyway. Avoidance doesn’t help, can leave you feeling bad about yourself, result in a bad attitude and undermine your confidence.

When you avoid confrontation you rob other people of an opportunity to become aware that there is a problem and block any possibility of change. If you don’t address issues they will keep on occurring and result in increasing frustration.

If you’re ready to take control and confront some issues these guidelines will ease the way.

  • Choose the time and place carefully. Don’t wait until you’re upset and angry. Find a time when you won’t be disturbed, in a neutral place, where you’ll be able to talk things through calmly.
  • Think about exactly what you will say and how you will say it. Practice putting your points across. Think through what their likely responses will be and plan in advance how to respond positively.
  • Don’t apologise for bringing the matter up. Be clear about what exactly is upsetting you. Give specific examples. Know what you would like them to do in response. Make sure that your request is reasonable.
  • Listen to their responses. If you need to change the way you do something, acknowledge that. Aim to come to an amicable agreement.

People will actually respect you more for speaking up and not letting people take advantage of you. If you continue to keep silent you may unwittingly sabotage the thing you’re trying to protect by keeping the peace.

Confrontation doesn’t have to be a battleground. You can create a safe place to discuss, understand and resolve conflict. Often, conflict resolution is as simple as making a polite request. Try it. Aim to remove one point of conflict from your life this week.

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