Confrontation can be threatening, especially if you are the one being confronted. Personally, I don’t like confronting people but I don’t mind being confronted because I feel I handle that better than confronting someone. I simply did not know how to confront someone.
In life you can’t avoid confronting people or being confronted. This is because we all are not the same in this world and where there are differences, there will be confrontations.
I remember a time in my life where I seriously avoided confrontation and conflict. Someone would do something I never liked but I’d just keep quiet and let it slide. The primary reason for my fear of confrontation was losing them and the subtle hostilities that might be present anytime we meet. I realized I wasn’t happy and it was biting me inside, it certainly wasn’t healthy.
For a better life and peace of mind, I learned how to confront people. I’m not there yet and confrontation really is not a first choice for me but it happens when I sincerely cannot take it again.
Below are some of the tips/guidelines that I use.
How to Confront Someone
Weigh your options
So like I mentioned earlier, I only confront people when I know I can’t take it any longer or it disturbs my peace of mind. However, if it’s something I can take or I feel will blow off soon, I just ignore. You might be like me, you might not but whatever it is you want to confront someone about, think hard about it. As you do, check if what you want to do is necessary and effective, also ask yourself if it really matters or it’s simply you overreacting.
Have a main reason and goal for confronting someone
Just like the first point, you have to have a main reason to confront someone; you also have to keep in mind the goal of doing so. What is it you want to achieve when you confront this person?
For instance, if your roommate Ada leaves the lights switched on when she leaves the room, you can talk to her and ask her why she does that. You would also tell her how you feel about that and what you would want her to do instead; which is switching off the lights to save electricity bill.
Now with this example, the reason you want to confront Ada is because she leaves the light on and it gets to you and your pocket. The goal of confronting her is to make her see reasons to turn off the lights when leaving the room so that it saves some money. It’s important to have in mind that you might not just reach your goal (because some people are difficult or perhaps you are the difficult one) but it’s good to have them anyway, so you are guided.
Prepare whatever it is you have to say
This point is quite tricky in the sense that you become too prepared and fall apart when thing don’t go as planned (this usually happens when you have a fear that the person you are confronting will intimidate you or will not like you).
So here’s what I do, I prepare bullet points in my head to bring up during the confrontation so I don’t forget and so that the confrontation is effective. If you are like me, you are very likely to forget events that happened that might back up your point; all you might remember is how you felt when it happened which might not necessarily hold water.
Organize yourself but don’t overthink it, don’t rehearse it if not you might be confused when things don’t go as planned. God help you if the other person is aggressive, you might be the one doing the apologizing.
Don’t bring up the past except necessary
Except it’s extremely necessary to prove a point or you want to talk about something that’s been happening, don’t bring up past deeds. When you confront someone, you want to do so using the situation at hand and not bringing up things from the past that the person might not know even hurt you. Trust me, that hurts.
For instance, if Lara misled you by lying about submitting a report in school, when you confront her, you want to do so by talking about the situation at hand. Except it’s been a recurring thing, you don’t want to bring up the fact that Lara invited everyone for a party except you or that she thinks she’s cool when she’s not.
Basically, be focused on what it is you want to confront her about. If you see she’s into sabotaging you, maybe she doesn’t give you important information so you are late on everything or she tries to pull you down then you can bring that all up and talk to her about it. Hopefully, she’s reasonable.
Be calm when confronting someone. Truth be told, it’s not easy because most times, emotions come in and emotions are unpredictable. It’s advisable to be calm because it makes you look calculative; it makes you look organized and strong. It also helps you drive your point clearly plus being calm and gentle helps in an argument. Even the bible says a calm answer turns away wrath.
However, if you come off as aggressive, the other party will be defensive and it could escalate to something you never bargained for. I also think it’s nice to drive your point calmly, while watching the other person blow up (if they choose to). I just don’t know but there’s something satisfying about it.
Stand your ground and be confident
When we confront people sometimes they make us look stupid or make it seem like it’s all our fault and it’s all in our head. I encourage you to stand your ground on what it is you are confronting them about. However, if they insist it’s all in your head (e.g. their passive aggressive behaviour toward you), you let it go.
Some people might also want to intimidate you especially if they smell your fears or nervousness. I know it’s not easy, but try not to show it or be bothered. This world is not for the faint.
Also read: Passive Aggressive Behaviour
If possible, do it privately
I try to put myself in people’s situations and I feel like if someone wants to confront me, I’ll like it to be done privately, except the person is dangerous or the person thinks I’m dangerous. Confronting someone privately commands a certain level of respect and it allows the other person feel free and not embarrassed so they don’t have to be defensive. Involve a third party only when necessary.
Put yourself in the person’s shoes
Now, if someone wants to confront you, what would you like? How would you like it to go? What are the things that would help? Think about these things and extend that courtesy to the person you want to confront.
I really hope these tips are helpful and I wish to learn from you also. What other tips do you use when confronting someone?