Let’s set the scene:
Someone does something, and you feel angry. Do you say anything? No. Instead of dealing with it, you allow it to loop through your thoughts. You go over and over it again in your mind. Frustration builds up and drives you crazy.
Have you been there? Are you uncomfortable with confrontation—you know, dealing head-on with issues that come up between you and other people?
If you’re uncomfortable with confrontation, don’t think you’re the only one. A lot of people shy away from conflict in certain situations.
I’ve been in multiple situations in my business where I don’t say exactly what I want to say. Sometimes it’s because I’ afraid I’ll be misinterpreted. Other times I’m concerned my message will be seen as confrontational or that I’ll offend. Ever happened to you?
Have you ever wondered why is it so difficult to confront issues directly while others seem to find it easy?
Well, first of all, let me say there’s nothing WRONG with YOU!! It’s important to remember YOU are not YOUR behavior. Who you ARE is separate from what you DO.
So, what stops you from confronting?
For many people it’s FEAR. Yup, that good old F-word get’s in our way a lot. It’s a super-simple concept that sometimes goes pretty deep. Exactly HOW DEEP depends on your past experience.
For instance, if as a kid your parents didn’t allow you to voice your opinion, you might think your opinion doesn’t matter.
Were you allowed to express your anger? If not, you probably have trouble speaking up for yourself as an adult.
Confrontation might seem like too big a nut to crack, but trust me, if you really want to break the pattern, it’s doable … in phases.
You can learn to overcome your fear of confrontation and approach conflict with confidence.
Believe You’re Worthy
The first and most important thing to remember is this: You’re worth standing up for. You have value and your feelings count.
Create Positive Experiences
If you’ve had negative experiences with confrontation or conflict, they might be subconsciously cemented in your belief system. Does that mean they’re there forever? No. It means you need to replace them with positive experiences.
Choose a situation that would be easy to confront. For example, stand up for yourself with a service provider—like your cell phone company—over the phone. You don’t know them and they don’t know you.
Practice asking for what you want. The more you do it, the easier it gets. @hayleyhobson (Click to Tweet!)
Role-playing with a friend or family member can help you feel more comfortable with conflict. Invent a situation or practice with a real-life issue. Use “I” statements, as few words as possible. Avoid saying “you” or over-explaining.
“When I saw the scratch on my car I felt angry.”
And then wait.
Notice there is no blaming or finger pointing. Also, there is no “you made me feel.” The words “I felt” show that you’re taking responsibility for your feelings in the conflict. Both parties get to hang onto their dignity in this type of confrontation.
Conflict is uncomfortable for most of us, most of the time. I don’t know anyone who likes it. Well, okay, so I know a few people who do. But for the most part, if you surround yourself with loving respectful people, confrontation is easier.
The best apart about conflict is once you work through it in a healthy way, it often brings you and the other person closer. Valuing yourself enough to ask for what you want or share your feelings raises your self-esteem. And as your self-esteem increases, it also helps you think more highly of others.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, Kick-A$$ Business Guru, 7 Figure MOM-treprenuer. and passionate about empowering others to live the life of their dreams and is based in Boulder, CO. Hayley creates lifestyle transformations by coaching her clients to become the best WHOLE version of themselves possible. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.