According to Oxford Dictionary confrontation is: A hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties. Based on that definition, agreed, I hate confrontation. However, confrontation should not be confused with disagreement. A disagreement is when we don’t see eye to eye on a subject. It becomes a confrontation when it escalates into loud voices, arguing, expletives and more.
Sometimes someone tells us something about ourselves, or something they perceive in us that we don’t like. It seems it is human nature to immediately take the opposition with guarding and argument. We may use deflection pointing out something we don’t like in the other person or even someone not involved at the time who exhibits the same behavior or trait. We may use the tactic of making excuses for what has been pointed out to us as well. What if instead we just took a moment to think about what that person has shared with us. Do you know what courage it may have taken them to bring this to your attention? I have rarely found that there isn’t some truth to what someone has showed me about myself.
Unless we’re already at the confrontational phase, what that person is pointing out to us is most likely not meant to be hurtful. Not if it is someone who cares about us. It is often easy to tell that they are coming from a loving place by the language they are using to point something out to us. The fact that they are not yelling should be a really good sign. When someone is bringing our attention to a trait or behavior of ours it is because they want things to be better in their relationship with us. They may devolve into that confrontational stand point when they feel the frustration of not being heard or understood.
Listen, pause and think. This is one of the best ways to work through something with someone who cares about us. Maybe we don’t realize we respond a particular way because it has become a habit for us. We can ask to step away from the conversation if we need to give ourselves time to see it through the other person’s eyes. We can always continue the conversation later. People really do want to get along and will give us the space we need when they care about us.
Of course, we all want to be the hero of our own story. But, did you ever notice, the hero in every story has a moment where they question themselves and who they are? They have this epiphany often brought on by some level of adversity that evolves them into the true hero that they are meant to be. Let’s consider what someone is sharing with us about ourselves as one of those possible moments to evolve.
We deserve to be the best version of ourselves. Sometimes that means working on something about ourselves that hurts someone else. Sometimes, it is seeing ourselves with honesty and doing the work that is necessary to create the change we want to see around us. None of us is perfect and honestly, who would want to be. Perfection leaves us nothing to strive for. However, we are all amazing works in progress. Sometimes the next lesson, the next evolution of ourselves comes from someone showing us our not best features and giving us the opportunity to grow. Ideally, that is what can bring people closer together.