Confrontation is inevitable in everyday life. Whether that’s at work or in your relationships, you’re going to have to deal with potentially difficult situations. And of course, the better your confrontation skills are, the better position you will be in. Handling confrontation is one of the hardest skills to build as confrontation, in general, is awkward and uncomfortable most of the time. But when you learn that there are a few tricks that you can use, it becomes a lot easier to handle confrontation.
So here are 11 simple tips on how you can improve your confrontation skills:
1. Understand that confrontation is inevitable most of the time and it’s not a bad thing.
Sometimes tension or conflict is unavoidable. This is true in your work or in your family, relationships with friends, and even on first dates. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, but you can’t afford to ignore it. There are too many good things that may happen if you do.
The only way open for us is to confront unpleasant people or situations (or at least feel like we are confronting them). We may not like confrontation, but our future depends on it.
Being comfortable and understanding that confrontation is an everyday part of life will help relieve tension in these situations. When you accept it as everyday life then you will understand that it’s ok to feel anxious about confrontation and it is something that you should embrace, not fear.
This is important because learning how to respond instead of reacting will help you to be more intentional with your words and actions. It will also give you the opportunity to choose your words carefully.
Rather than responding with something emotionally driven, pause and ask a bridge question of some kind to help you digest something confronting.
Examples of this:
- I’m not quite sure I understand what you are saying, can you please explain.
- I don’t think I heard you correctly, please repeat that.
- Can you please clarify?
- What do you mean by that?
It’s during those few seconds (or minutes) that you will be able to digest the information and decide if something requires a response or simply clarification. It will allow you to be more level headed once passing through the initial reaction phase and allowing you to compose and respond with something meaningful instead of emotionally driven.
3. Understand that confrontation is uncomfortable and awkward, accept that and embrace it.
It’s not uncommon to feel uncomfortable, awkward, angry, angry, angry inside. It’s natural to feel angry or intimidated when confronted. You can’t change that. You need to learn how to accept that feeling of being uncomfortable and awkwardness that accompanies confrontation. By accepting it rather than avoiding it you will make it easier on yourself.
We are never instructed on how to improve this skill in life. We are taught how to avoid uncomfortable situations or situations that make us angry or angry at the people involved. But we aren’t taught how to deal with conflict, other than to ignore it and avoid confrontation altogether. By learning how to confront difficult situations you will improve your own life and that of others that you deal with.
But it’s hard and uncomfortable: you’re going to feel angry, agitated, embarrassed and even guilty inside. Be patient and allow yourself time to process these feelings. You will know what is needed because avoiding confrontation or confrontation that makes you feel trapped or uncomfortable is simply not an option for us. It’s not worth the consequences; it’s not worth it. You can deal with confrontation well or you can avoid it, but avoid it you must.
4. Understand that becoming confrontational doesn’t mean you are rude, aggressive or assertive.
It is possible to be assertive, aggressive and rude all at the same time; however to be confrontational simply means that you are confronting something that requires a response. You can be assertive, aggressive and confrontational. All of these things are different and separate from each other.
Conflict is not impolite (unless it is handled impolitely). A lot of conflicts require a response and it is handled with impoliteness: if we do not respond, that’s impolite. You can deal with confrontation well or you can avoid it, but avoiding it you must.
When confronted we will become defensive as a natural response to feeling threatened. It’s not uncommon for people to handle conflict in an aggressive manner, but this behaviour is often the result of years of poor communication skills.
Moving forward with confrontation doesn’t mean that you are overly aggressive, rude or impolite. Instead, it means that you are willing to confront uncomfortable negative situations in your life. These are the things that are holding you back and keeping you stuck, so learn to confront them well.
5. Learn to recognize the difference between confrontations and conflicts.
Conflict is when the people in the relationship are in disagreement about something. They may be in disagreement because of different values, beliefs, desires or interests. Conflicts are not confrontations. Conflicts are when two or more people can’t agree or disagree on something. Sometimes conflicts may lead to confrontations, however, it’s unlikely that these would ever lead to a good outcome where both sides are at peace with each other.
Conflict is not confrontational but will lead to confrontation. Confrontation is when you are forced to respond to a situation. Confrontations can be avoided, but not for long.
Conflict means disagreement, confrontation means responding to the situation that requires a response. You can be aggressive and confrontational without a conflict, and you can have a conflict without being aggressive or confrontational. It’s about engaging with the situations that require a response, not avoiding them because of discomfort or fear of the outcome. Nobody will like you for it, but that doesn’t matter.
Move forward with confrontation doesn’t mean that you are aggressive, rude or impolite; instead, it means that you are willing to confront uncomfortable negative situations in your life. These are the things that are holding you back and keeping you stuck, so learn to confront them well.
6. Understand what is required of you in these situations.
When we find ourselves in confrontation we will automatically respond with something emotionally driven, angry or embarrassed inside of us. We will say things without thinking of the consequences and we will not take time to calm down from the initial reaction of fear, anger or embarrassment. We may even become aggressive or rude as a result of our emotional response.
It’s easy to be aggressive and confrontational in these situations, but it’s more important that you deal with the situation calmly regardless of your emotional response. If you can respond calmly regardless of what is going on inside you, then you will have a greater chance of success.
7. Learn how to deal with stressful situations like difficult or emotional confrontations.
You don’t need to confront every negative situation in your life; you just need to be able to deal with each one differently based on the danger involved. If you are dealing with a dangerous situation, then it’s best to avoid confrontation altogether. If you are dealing with an uncomfortable situation, then it’s likely not worth the energy available for dealing with it.
Don’t try and hide from difficult situations – they will find you. Learn how to deal with each difficult situation differently. Learn to identify what you’re feeling and how it’s making you behave. Identify the difference between stress, fear and anger; and learn how to control them.
Stress can be dealt with by engaging with it, but fear and anger can only be dealt with by learning how to deal with each situation differently.
8. Have a plan for uncomfortable situations that require a response or conflict resolution.
You need a plan for dealing with conflicts in your life that require a conversation. They’ll come out of nowhere and surprise you. This is why it’s important to have a plan for dealing with each one. In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to think clearly or make logical decisions. You’ll use reason and logic when you sit down to think about it, but when things get emotional it’s hard to deal with anything in a logical manner.
9. Find common ground
When you are angry or stressed it’s hard to find common ground. You feel like the other person is against you, fighting with you and there’s no way you’ll ever see things the same way. It’s just easier to disagree than to find common ground. If you can’t get through to them, then they must be wrong.
Finding common ground doesn’t mean that you agree with each other’s point of view. It means that you’re able to find something in common instead of just fighting about nothing. This is important to avoid unnecessary conflict.
When you encounter negative situations in your life, it’s important to remember that finding common ground doesn’t mean that you agree with each other’s points of view. It means that you’re able to find something in common instead of just fighting about nothing. This is important to avoid unnecessary conflict.
10. Be mindful of your body language.
Your body language can reflect strongly on your experience with conflict. If you are tense, rigid or rigid in your posture, you will have the appearance of hostility. This will lead to others being in conflict with you too without realizing it. Do what you can to relax your body, so that it becomes loose and easy to stretch out.
11. Practising empathy can go a long way
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You can take an objective approach to the situation without getting too emotionally involved in the outcome. When you are angry, frustrated or stressed, it’s easy to get emotionally involved in situations that you shouldn’t be. This is very unpleasant for everyone.
When you can empathize with someone else’s point of view, then you will be able to respond without conflict. You will be able to respond calmly and rationally. You will be able to treat others with respect, patience and generosity. You’ll be able to handle difficult situations in your life with ease.
Dealing with confrontation is a skill that must be learned. It can help you to become more relaxed and patient with difficult situations in your life. It will equip you with the tools that you need to deal with stressful or uncomfortable confrontations in your life that require a response.
In essence, it’s about being able to engage with the mistakes of others, even if it upsets you, without being confrontational. It’s a way of responding calmly and rationally to difficult situations without becoming aggressive or impolite.
Overcoming confrontation is an ongoing process. It’s something that you will need to work on and practice throughout your life. It’s not easy to deal with confrontational people, but it’s definitely worth the effort. I hope that this has been helpful and inspiring for you.