How to Handle Confrontations

Is it hard for you to handle confrontation? It could be you are fighting with someone, witnessing a fight, or need to tell someone that they’ve upset you – the situation makes your palms sweat, your stomach hurt, or you voice crack.

These are all normal reactions, as most confrontations are uncomfortable and anxiety-filled situations. However, there are some tricks and tips that can keep you focused and calm during a confrontation. The calmer you are, the better prepared you are to defend yourself, reach an agreement, or solve a problem.

Look at your goals; maybe some you’ve made that still haven’t gotten done. Is there something you really want, or want to see change, that hasn’t been finished because you’re afraid of the confrontation involved? If so, keep those things, the things worth fighting for, at the front of your mind. Don’t let yourself say, “Oh, I’ll get what I want some other day.” You can achieve it today, with a little push and determination.

Don’t try to read anyone’s mind. It may seem scary to think about interrupting someone and saying, “What did you mean by….?” However, asking for clarification is the best way to not only smooth the situation, but also give you a sense of power and control. Otherwise, it is one sided – you listen, and the other person rants. It may also make you feel better, to learn that someone didn’t mean it the way they said it.

Try to think of it as “negotiation,” not “confrontation.” When you think of it this way, you tell yourself that you have a stake in the outcome, and thus, you have a right to have your ideas heard, and your needs expressed. Again, telling yourself you have rights and a voice is a great way to make you feel empowered.

If you feel oppressed, ridiculed, or abused in any way, it’s important to take a step back, ask for a breather or a moment alone. Think carefully about the situation, and ask yourself whether you are overreacting, or whether there is more to it. If you feel it is some kind of abuse, or if you simply can’t decide for yourself, it may be time to ask a third party (mediator, therapist, etc.) to step in.

Remember that the idea of confrontation is communication – not control. When you are confronted about your behavior, or you confront someone else, the point is not for someone to be the “winner” or the one with more power. The point is merely to have problems addressed and hopefully worked out. Whether those problems are fully solved or not, you should still walk away feeling respectful of the other person, and in turn, respected by them.

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

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