In a perfect world, transparency in communication would be a way of life. People would be able to address their concerns openly, and it would be reciprocated in a positive manner. Thus, our lives would be far less stressful as issues would be resolved quickly. But that’s far from the reality that we live in.
Confrontation is a scary word for some. When we talk about fears, we think about the fear of heights, or snakes for example. It may pass off as something trivial but having a fear of confrontation is equally terrifying for some.
If you’re the kind who is afraid to voice out your opinion, ask questions, or find that you constantly bottle up your feelings in fear of hurting others, then you might be afraid of confrontation.
Us humans, we are wired for pleasure. We love being in a state of happiness and enjoying ourselves.
This is why those afraid of confrontation often shy away from negative situations or conflicting emotions that make them uncomfortable. It’s the easy way out.
While avoiding confrontation provides temporarily relief, if left unchecked over time, it would only lead to bigger issues in the future.
Facing your fear of confrontation is not an easy feat but unfortunately, it’s the only way to resolve problems and misunderstandings.
People who fear confrontation would often find themselves standing on the edge of a situation, restrained by their own irrational thoughts wondering if they should or should not speak their minds. Eventually, this would cause unnecessary worrying, stress, and ultimately anger and resentment.
Exercising to get your muscles moving and your blood flowing is important, but emotional wellness plays an integral role in our physical health as well. Here are tips on how to overcome fear of confrontation and how to handle conflicts.
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
Take a step back and reflect on the situation that’s bothering you. Find the root of the problem and what caused you to feel a certain way. It’s easy to convince yourself to stay quiet and leave the situation as it is, but in the long run, how will it effect your relationship with the other party? Will it cause more damage if you don’t address it in an open manner? Think about what’s holding you back from clearing the air. Instill some confidence in you and ask yourself, is the fear of confronting a person really worth all the anxiety and stress? Find your voice and use it.
If tomorrow is the day you decide to start a new pattern of behaviour, take it one step at a time. For example, if you’re in a meeting at the office, be brave enough to give some input or ask questions. Don’t be afraid of rejection or failure, instead view it as a learning progress.
ADDRESS ONE ISSUE AT A TIME
Bottling up emotions from all those times you dodged an honest conversation about how you truly feel can take its toll. Thread one issue at a time and approach it in a diplomatic manner. If you are feeling jittery about speaking up to everyone around you, pick the person you feel most safe to confront first. Confronting something minor first will help to increase your confidence to address bigger issues.
KNOW YOUR LIMIT
Confronting isn’t a bad thing, but what matters is how you approach the situation. When you have become comfortable with confrontation, know when to pick your battles. Ultimately the goal is to resolve issues amicably, so there isn’t need to be rude or belittle someone. Don’t confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness. It’s important to stand up for yourself, but don’t push someone over the edge as it will only create more drama.
Cover photo: Harli Marten / Unsplash