Each of us had this frightening conversation. With a boss, a loved one, a neighbor or a teenage son ‑ you know exactly what kind of conversation we are talking about. You put it off until the last, but it couldn't go on like this anymore. No matter how scary it was, one day the moment came to talk frankly.
All of us have experienced the fear of confrontation at least once in our lives. Of course, anxiety before an important and difficult conversation is absolutely natural. However, if it is so strong that it prevents you from expressing your opinion every time, it's time to change something.
Start by defining the word "confrontation" itself. What meaning do you put into it? Perhaps for you this is a manifestation of aggression, and you treat it as a battle in which there can be only one winner. Or your past experience has taught you that any confrontation should be avoided because it ends in pain, resentment and regret.
In fact, confrontation in its essence is just a difference of opinions and ideas, and the expectation of its catastrophic consequences is our own self—fulfilling prophecy. Try to look at it from a positive side. When you change the scenario in your head, it will be easier to overcome anxiety.
The fear of confrontation is born in us when we treat it not as a respectful debate, but as an emotional squabble that will definitely get out of control and inevitably end with one winning and the other losing. Once you realize that different opinions don't necessarily lead to ugly swearing, you can boldly explain your point of view.
Therefore, the next time you have to talk to another person or group of people, stop and analyze your understanding of the situation. Make sure that you enter into a dialogue without negativity. The mood always affects the outcome of the conversation.
After you rethink what confrontation is, allow yourself to enjoy "rocking the boat".
The only way to get what you want is to ask and believe that it is necessary. Of course, you cannot control the reaction and actions of another person. However, you also can't get what you don't ask for. As long as you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting.
Try to treat the confrontation with more insouciance and humor. Laughter lifts the mood, relieves stress and helps to establish contact with others, which means that the conversation will definitely go well.
The fear of confrontation is usually associated with the person himself, not with other people. If you are guided by an inner desire to always please others, you will avoid conflicts. As a rule, such an attitude comes from childhood, when you want to please everyone around in order to earn approval.
Moreover, if we grow up in a dismissive and overly critical environment, it is difficult for us to defend our position. We are learning that it is much safer to remain silent and keep a low profile. But it was like that in childhood, and we have been adults and conscious people for a long time. It's time to cheer up your inner child and tell him that his opinion and thoughts matter.
Try to deliberately disappoint others. It sounds a little crazy, but it works. Start with situations where the stakes are not too high, for example, answer with a decisive "no" to a request for a small service, even if you can provide it.
The ability to say "no" in general, it can change life for the better. This simple word helps to define personal boundaries and thus take care of yourself. The more often you meet respect for your views and desires when you say "no", the easier it will be for you to express your opinion.
Let's say a loved one asked you to go to the store on the way home and buy his favorite sweets. It is not difficult for you to do this. But instead of "yes," say, "Unfortunately, I can't." Don't explain why if you don't want to lie and come up with a reason.
At first, the very idea that you won't please someone can scare you. But with practice, you will gain inner strength, understand that other people accept your answers, begin to treat confrontation much more calmly and find the courage to express your point of view.
When you ask about something, be curious, and don't blame your opponent. Try not only to listen, but also to hear the other person. Take a look at the situation from his side. You may notice that you accidentally missed something important.
Keep in mind that your opponent, just like you, is trying to understand the opposite point of view. Be patient, even if he does not succeed. Don't be too categorical: your main task is to understand each other and establish a constructive dialogue.
Remember something about which your opinions converge or about which you can laugh together. No matter how we argue with others, we have much more in common than it seems at first glance.
There is another method that works well in confrontation — to allow everyone to freely express their opinion without interrupting. First one speaks, and the other listens and then tells in his own words what he understood from what he heard. If the interpretation is correct, it is his turn to explain his point of view, which is summarized by the opponent.
This technique helps to trace exactly where misunderstandings arise, and resolve all misunderstandings until they escalate into a serious conflict.