Not everyone likes dealing with confrontation.  Ok, people who actually like debate team, politicians, upper management of corporations, yadda yadda, those people do like it and therefore seek out ways to participate in it.  But for the most part people don’t like it and try to avoid it.  We associate it with uncomfortable conversations, unpleasant interactions, anger and sometimes violence.  We feel that it never ends well and that it’s better that it not happen and if it does happen we end it as quickly as possible.

fear_of_public_speakingWhich is one reason people struggle so much to find their voice, to be authentic, to live their true life.  Because we’ve associated confrontation with negativity and negative outcome entirely instead of seeing it as a positive and necessary component of being alive.  Because confrontation isn’t necessarily negative.  It’s one piece of creating identity, of setting boundaries, of creating a life that supports us and helps us to become our true selves.  It starts from that moment in our very young lives when we learned to say “No”.   Any parent will remember that phase.  It’s an assertion of our unique perspective on things which we, at first, wield indiscriminately.  Everything becomes “no” even if we want it.  It’s the only word we use for weeks and months at a time.  It is the first experience of sovereignty and personal empowerment we get in this life.  And it’s confrontational.

It’s helpful in adult life to remember that time when “no” was freedom and empowerment.  When ‘no’ helped us create ourselves.  It wasn’t negative, it didn’t kill our relationships with our parent/sibling/friend/relative and it didn’t end life as we know it.  Which is key.  When someone confronts us or when we need to confront someone else, it’s most likely not the end of the world, even though it might be scary, it might be dramatic, it might be freighted with importance and it might change everything.  It’s a blessing because it helps us see a facet of who the other person is (either their true self or the fact that they aren’t acting from their true nature which is just as valuable to know) and allows us to act from our true nature and show that to them.

If the situation is dangerous in some way, physically, mentally abusive, etc, then ‘stop/drop/roll’ and get to safety.  But for the average, everyday confrontations of life, remember that feeling of saying “no” and meaning it.  You still have that power. Of course, you can always use the “imagine them in their underwear” trick as well.  It could leave you with imagery that scars you for life, bit it could release enough of the stress that you’re able to get your point across successfully.