Confrontation: Love or Hate It?

How do you feel about confronting others or maybe confronting your own issues? Do you tend to run away from confrontation and avoid conflict? If you do tend to shy away from conflict, what is your fear about it? Or, do you hit it head on and move towards it? How does it impact your relationships? It’s important to take a look and really dig deep on how you deal with difficult feelings and issues. 

The word “confrontation” brings up many different meanings, often people associate being “confrontive” as negative. I encourage you to look at it differently, and to look at it in terms of exploring how you face issues in your life. Do you tend to run away from stuff or ignore them? Or, do you acknowledge and work through them? How do you deal with your feelings? Do you express or suppress them? 

Why is this important? If you don’t deal directly with issues, feelings or challenges in your life, then they can manifest in different ways such as depression, anxiety, fear or physical illness. Sometimes people just feel stuck. Maybe it’s because there is something from the past or present to confront, deal with head on and, ultimately, move on. The payoff is you gain more peace about the situation and, most importantly, yourself. 

We are all human beings with feelings and experiences. There is no such thing as a perfect person or relationship. Everyone has something that triggers or upsets them. In order to gain a sense of self, it’s important to begin dealing with your feelings and confront issues in your life. Below are a few ways to begin confronting yourself or someone else. 

  1. Acknowledge your feelings and possible areas for improvement. We can all grow, learn and become a better version of ourselves. In order to do this, we must take a look at what it is we want to confront and work to improve it.  We don’t want to dwell, blame or get stuck in the past, but to explore it and create understanding and insight. 
  2. Take responsibility for your part. Look at the parts of the situation you can own. Is it all your issue or just certain parts? Don’t take on issues that don’t belong to you. It might be someone else’s issue and not yours to own. 
  3. Communicate how you feel. It’s so important we share how we feel by using “I” statements such as “I feel sad when you don’t return my calls for days.” Telling someone how you feel is not about them, it’s about you. Let go of the expectations of others and say what you need to say. It’s about your own healing.


-Kristen D Boice M.A., LMFT, EMDR Trained

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