Confrontation and Being Confronted
No matter what time of year it is, there is always so much stuff going on. Whether it be a holiday, birthday party or wedding, frequent get-togethers have one thing in common: constant interaction with people. And since no two people on this planet are the same, that means disagreements, hurt feelings and confrontations are bound to happen sooner or later.
The problem with confrontation isn’t the act itself, it’s how people go about doing it.
As introverts, we want to process things. We can’t always give an immediate answer to an argument or heated question. We like to take our time, think about it and come back with an intelligent response. But unfortunately, not everyone works that way.
Approaching a confrontational situation in a structured way, whether you are the confronter or the one being confronted, will save you a whole lot of headache and heartache. Here is my 7-step process to dealing with confrontation without losing your mind:
Verbally explain what is going on in detail. Leave out your emotions during this step. Just state the facts, and only the facts, to make sure you both are on the same page.
Next, describe how you feel at that moment. Try not to get overly-emotional, but make sure the other person knows how the situation is affecting you.
Let the person know what you want to be different. Be specific. For example, yelling “Don’t do that anymore!” doesn’t tell the other person what they did to bother you. They just know you are mad. Focus on the precise problem. A good way to lead into this is, “I wish you would not…”.
Go over everything that was discussed to make sure neither side is missing any information that will (hopefully) lead to a resolution or mutual understanding.
How are you going to handle the confrontation? Have a plan before entering the conversation. This will make you feel more prepared and make things go smoother in the process.
Use your voice and speak up for what you believe in. As much as us introverts enjoy keeping to ourselves, this is one moment where we need to use our voices to be understood.
As much as this may pain you to do, try to come to a common understanding at the end of your vent-session. This may be difficult, especially if you both have strong personalities (and there are people out there that always want to be “right”!), but coming to an understanding on how to move forward is the best way to peacefully end a confrontation.
Now that we have those 7 points covered, here are 3 things you should NOT do during a confrontation:
Do Not Assume Feelings
I know I am not the only one here with RBF (Resting Bitch Face)! That being said, don’t ever assume what people are thinking. If they look mad, it may just be the way they look when they are thinking about dinner or what to do that night. This step can save you from a potentially nasty argument, so it is a good one to remember.
Do Not Shift Blame
No one has the right to be rude, and it is especially offensive to blame your choices on someone else. You are fully responsible for all of your actions, and while you may be having a bad day, placing the blame on another person or situation is a cowardly way out of a confrontation.
Do Not Play Dumb
Sure, we all forget things. But do not use your “forgetfulness” as an excuse to dodge a conversation that should happen. Lying to save yourself from the wrath of a confrontation isn’t doing anyone any favors!
Look, confrontations can be uncomfortable and they are hard to do. Nobody likes them (unless you are my mom). So entering into one with a solid strategy will help calm your nerves, drive you towards a resolution and can essentially save a relationship.
Let me know in the comments some other ways you try to be better at confrontations?