We are living in a day and age where we are either quite vocal when it comes to confronting others, or we are too scared to confront because we want to be overly sensitive when it comes to people’s feelings.

You see it all the time, especially online: People seem to have larger-than-life egos when it comes to venting their frustrations with complete strangers and they often say things that cross the line. And I highly doubt that they would behave or be as vocal about their frustrations in person. It’s easy to be loud and confrontational online with strangers, as we don’t have to deal with the reality of seeing the person face to face, and hearing their thoughts in person.

However, when it comes to the people we love, from family to friends to even work colleagues, we can’t ignore issues by pretending they do not exist. We aren’t helping them or ourselves by not confronting others.

WHY ARE WE AFRAID TO CONFRONT IN PERSON?

  • We fear their response.
  • We fear their rejection.
  • We fear that they may not take it well (again).
  • We don’t want to hurt anyone (ever).
  • We fear potential hurt from others (in their response to us).
  • We fear the unknown in general.

It’s amazing how fear can either propel us to react irrationally, or stop us from moving forward alltogether. However, we can’t live a life ruled by fear – sometimes we need to take action by lovingly confronting the fear head on. Because that’s where we will see breakthrough, and that’s where we will see significant change.

WHEN CONFRONTING OTHERS

Confronting others or challenging others, especially those that we love, isn’t always easy, as we are exposing vulnerable areas within us, and we want to seek a resolution, which means sifting through the dirt together.

Remember when confronting others : 

  • Speak with love.
  • Show kindness and respect when communicating your thoughts.
  • Ask yourself if what you are about to say is aimed towards a resolution and truth. We shouldn’t want to attack the person we are confronting. We should rather aim to enlighten and lovingly challenge others.
  • Try to avoid going through a back and forth of remarks: “You said that, I said that. Because you did that, now I’m going to do that!”. Rather focus on the issue and how you can move forward to find a resolution.
  • Use wisdom when communicating your thoughts and concerns.
  • Reassure them that you do indeed love them. Often when others feel confronted, they feel exposed and completely vulnerable. Therefore, make it known that you love them regardless of the issue. That reassurance keeps the trust going and gives confidence in finding resolve together.
  • Encourage the person, and speak life over the situation!
  • Remember you want to move forward, therefore forgive those that hurt you.

WHEN BEING CONFRONTED

When someone approaches you to confront you on something, try not to anticipate the conversation and think of all the things you will fire back at them.

Instead, try to: 

  • Be open to what the person is saying.
  • Listen carefully – don’t merely hear what you want to or expect to hear; rather listen to what it is they are saying and feeling.
  • Do not respond as a means of attacking them back. Settle your emotions first.
  • Wait until they are completely finished speaking, before responding.
  • When responding ask yourself if what you are about to say is beneficial for the conversation at hand, and if it will add strength to the process of going forward.
  • Think about what they are saying. Are they right in what they are saying or are they merely attacking you for the sake of bringing you down completely?
  • If you feel they are attacking your character, and the goal of the confrontation is not about finding a resolution, then put that conversation on hold.
  • If you need to apologise then do so, but do it sincerely.
  • Do not drop your head in shame and linger on any negative thoughts due to what was. We all make mistakes; we are human after all.
  • Remember that you are both working towards finding a resolution. Seek the solution, and move forward.

Although confronting others can be nerve wrecking, if not emotionally draining, it is ultimately very rewarding – especially when you work through your issues together and see growth and strength within one another. Confronting those we love not only challenges us personally, but it challenges those that are on the receiving end. Confrontation can be a blessing in disguise!

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