How comfortable are you with confrontation?
No doubt about it, confrontation is awkward, messy, or frightening. For some, it can even be exciting! But there are several reasons why confrontation can be good for us and our relationships.
First, it’s important to know that our beliefs about confrontation form at an early age. Our personal history teaches us to either to jump into a conflict, avoid it, or appease it at all costs. And some of us were taught to stay positive and not acknowledge conflict at all.
Whatever our personal beliefs about conflict are, personal growth requires us to confront our beliefs about the role of confrontation in resolving conflict.
Effectively dealing with conflict requires us to make a ‘peace; of sorts with confrontation. Maybe you’re thinking right now “Oh, I could never get comfortable with confrontation!” Or maybe you’d admit, “I’m a little too comfortable with confrontation!”
These statements are a huge first step…for a few reasons.
First, it means you’re actually identifying your feelings about confrontation. And once you start identifying how you feel about confrontation, you can then begin to understand where your feelings might be impacting your beliefs about conflict. And your beliefs about conflict might be limiting your potential for personal growth.
Personal growth happens when we listen and lean in to feelings of discomfort.
Second, identifying your feelings about confrontation leads to an improved ability to deal with conflict. Certainly, we can avoid conflict for a time. In fact, a period of avoidance can be helpful in calming a heated situation. However, conflict tends to fester and build when it’s not attended to. When we can move through our feelings of discomfort, then we can start to get creative about problem-solving.
As difficult as it is, ‘confronting’ our feelings on confrontation helps contribute to our personal growth and helps us be more creative and effective problem-solvers.