Problem solving and communication are key to any healthy relationship, whether it’s with your friends, your coworkers, or someone that you are dating. Addressing issues or concerns that you have, and knowing how to fix them are important aspects of healthy confrontation. However, many of us shut down when someone confronts us, or avoid confronting others in general. Instead of continuing to let your boss walk all over you, read these five signs that you are scared of confrontation, and how you can fix it.
Addressing a problem triggers anxiety
Your hands begin to sweat, your heart begins to race, your blood pressure is skyrocketing and eye contact begins to make you feel way too vulnerable. You immediately feel like you did something wrong, and don’t know how to handle the conflict that is inevitably approaching. It’s important to remind yourself what you want out of this conversation. Don’t walk away leaving so much unsaid, and if you’re caught off guard when someone else addresses a problem with you, it’s okay to take your time with your responses. Don’t feel like you have to answer immediately and don’t immediately take the blame. You have a point of view as well, and it’s important that you stand up for yourself.
You don’t know how to stand up for yourself
You are a people pleaser and that’s what gets you into trouble. You want to resolve inevitable conflicts as quickly as possible, even if it means you’re not happy. It’s okay to be nice about differences but it’s also important to remember that kindness should not be mistaken for weakness. It’s okay to have a difference of opinion or to have conflict with someone and want it resolved. Standing up for yourself and expressing how you feel is an important aspect of healthy communication. So many of us don’t know how to stand up for ourselves, but it all starts with knowing your worth, and believing that you are valuable and that your opinions matter.
You shut down
Disagreements in general don’t usually cause this to happen, but when the confrontation directly involves you, that’s when you shut down. You begin to feel attacked and remorseful for what you did, even if you believe you had a good reason for it. It can be frustrating because you want to explain why you did or said what you did, but the only thing you can bring yourself to do is apologize. You’re apologizing for making someone else upset or slightly uncomfortable.
However, they deserve to know how they make you feel as well. Your opinion is valuable and should not be forgotten about or left unsaid. Many people who avoid confrontation at all costs usually need everyone to like them. They constantly want to be on good terms with their friends, coworkers, family members and everyone in between. However, standing up for yourself and giving your voice power is a very likable quality. As we get older, we learn that not everyone is going to like us, not every personality type is going to click, and that’s okay. It’s great that being nice is a priority, but it shouldn’t be more important than your own happiness.
Confrontation constantly causes you to cry
It’s something we can’t always control. You feel your face turning red and the knot in your throat hardening. You try hard not to start crying but the more you try to talk, the harder it becomes to keep it all together. You feel like you are unraveling piece by piece and you don’t even know why. You get so frustrated with yourself because you wish you didn’t react this way. You don’t want people to constantly think you are playing the victim, but when someone is addressing an issue they have with you, it’s hard not to feel attacked. It’s important to try and calm yourself down. Take deep breaths, remind yourself this isn’t the end of the world, and truly listen to what they are saying so that you can respond honestly. This hot mess reaction usually comes when you feel caught off guard, but if you keep reminding yourself to keep your emotions in check and respond truthfully, you will handle the confrontation like a pro.
You know what you want to say but you just can’t verbalize it
How many times have you come home, lied down, and replayed the events of the day over and over again in your head? Rethinking the words that were said, and imagining a million better ways you could have handled that situation. Many of us handle conflict poorly, and it’s not that we don’t know the correct ways to go about it, but it’s the fact that we don’t think straight in the moment. Our emotions overwhelm us and it makes it difficult to think clearly and rationally. Learning how to verbalize your thoughts in a healthy way is key to communicating.
We all know that practice makes perfect, and that saying also applies to confrontation. Healthy conflict resolution is important but it is also a skill developed and learned over time. It all starts with changing how you view yourself and others around you. It’s important to have an idea in your mind of what it is that you want from the situation, and how to achieve that. A lot of the fear that we get from confrontation comes from the abrupt nature of it all. It’s easy to feel caught off guard or attacked. Handling confrontation is something that is learned, so don’t get discouraged. The more you work at it, the sooner you’ll be addressing conflict in all areas of your life like a pro.