You Can’t (And Shouldn’t) Always Avoid Confrontation, So Fight Smart

It would be nice if we could all go through life constantly agreeing with one another and never getting into petty arguments. But that’s not the way the world works, and unfortunately, you’re going to come across people you don’t see eye to eye with every once in awhile. The key is to know how to deal with them, and that takes practice, patience, and the ability to understand things from other people’s point of view. You could try to avoid confrontation, but that will only work for so long, and eventually you’re going to have to speak up. So you might as well learn how to do it right.

  1. People can’t read your mind. If something bothers you, you can’t always expect people to pick up on it. Most people are so wrapped up in themselves and their own thoughts that they aren’t going to notice if they did something to upset you. Unless you tell them. That’s always an option.
  2. It’s important to stand up for yourself. Having the strength and confidence to stand up for yourself will not only make others respect you a lot more, but it will give you a lot more respect for yourself. And you won’t be afraid of conflict next time, because you’ll know you have the ability to deal with it effectively.
  3. And be willing to fight for what you want. If you aren’t willing to speak up and ask for what you want, chances are you aren’t going to get it very often. If it’s important to you, then it’s worth fighting for, even if it isn’t always easy.
  4. People will walk all over you if you let them. There are a lot of people out there who will almost always take the path of least resistance. No one wants to deal with conflict regularly, so if they see you’re unlikely to put up a fight, you better believe they’ll take advantage of that.
  5. You can’t hold everything inside. Keeping all your feelings and opinions inside will eventually start to take its toll. It’s exhausting to always have to hide how you really feel, and it’s only a matter of time before you snap and make things a lot worse than they need to be.
  6. Good communication makes everything easier. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship it is, solid communication is hands down the most important thing to have. When you can talk to each other and not worry about it always turning in to a huge thing, you’ll be a lot more comfortable bringing up any concerns you have.
  7. Nothing will change if you don’t speak up. Again, people can’t read your mind. So if you don’t tell them what’s wrong, they won’t know anything is wrong, and they will continue doing that thing you hate until you eventually just spontaneously combust. And even then they’ll have no idea what happened.
  8. If you’re reasonable about it, confrontation can be productive. Confrontation doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you approach it in a calm way that doesn’t come across as too aggressive, a lot of people will be willing to listen. Once you start getting things off your chest, you’ll be surprised how much lighter you feel.
  9. A good defense is the best offense. People tend to get defensive when they feel like they’re being attacked. So instead of going at them guns blazing, try to take a less aggressive approach. Open with how you feel and work backwards towards what exactly made you feel that way. That way, you’re simply defending yourself, not launching an attack against their character.
  10. Sometimes you just need to clear the air. The longer you let something simmer, the worse it’s going to seem. If you just bring something up and deal with it right away, you won’t get that awkward tension that makes everyone feel uncomfortable. All it usually takes is acknowledging the elephant in the room and moving on. No need to blow little things out of proportion.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to, contributes regularly to, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.