Confrontation has become a really negative word. No one wants confrontation. It’s equated with unnecessary drama, discomfort, awkwardness, and negativity. It’s been associated with anger, fury, and personal attacks, harassment, control, and abuse. It has become something to be avoided at all costs. In order to avoid confrontation, problems need to be ignored, worked around or suffered, relationships are sidelined or ended, opportunities avoided, careers derailed or postponed and the word ‘fun’ becomes derogatory as in “Are we having any Fun yet?” 🙁
Again, it seems that confrontation has been affected by Skunk medicine. It is either black or white, either so emotional and out of control that the person cannot hear anything but the thunder of their own emotions or it is to be avoided no matter what the cost to anyone and everyone. I find both extremes a bad idea with heavy costs. As a friend of mine pointed out recently, “If I had been there the entire drama would have been cut short because I would have just gone up to him and said ‘Hey, what’s up with this?’ “. Which is true. And I admire him for it. It can be startling, but it heads off a heap load of crap.
In my opinion, confrontation is a tool, just like a hammer or a paper clip. In and of itself it is neither good nor bad. It just is. How we use it is the key to how affective it is. And it’s a versatile tool so there’s just as many ways to use it as people and situations that need it. To be confrontational can be just as easy as saying “that’s not how I see it” or “that’s not my experience” or “what does that mean?” It’s about living your truth in that moment and being willing to say what that truth is out loud. Not shouting, not whispering, being able to hear other people saying their truth, letting their truth in as well as letting yours out….well, basically relearning the art of Conversation, which is two or more people actually speaking with each other. Not at or to each other but ‘With’ each other. You may not agree, you may become passionate about your opinion, you may learn something, you may grow, the possibilities are endless, but if you don’t use confrontation you’ll never have the chance.