Confrontation is necessary

I’ve never been one to actively seek out confrontation. I’ve always been a really patient person, and that’s worked out well for me most of the time. I will do everything in my power to avoid confrontation, including avoiding the situation altogether. That doesn’t always work out so well. I let problems go unresolved for extended periods of time, hoping they’ll either resolve themselves or just cease to exist. If only it was that easy…
When facing a stressful situation (work, school, relationship, etc.) I have a bad habit of walking away. My anxiety reaches a certain level and I HAVE to walk away before I blow a fuse. As a young adult, I walked away from multiple jobs. I would have a bad day or series of bad days and decided that the stress just wasn’t worth it so I would leave. The thought of explaining my actions was too stressful, so I would just vanish. Knowing that I wouldn’t have to deal with confronting the issue ever again was such a huge weight off of my shoulders. It was the easy way out.
However, as an adult it’s not that simple. Bills to pay, mouths to feed, all that stuff. I’m stuck. Still trying to navigate life without confrontation, but finding myself backed into a corner. I try to organize my thoughts and find a way out that doesn’t involve upsetting anyone, but it’s just not possible. The only way I can move forward without pissing anyone off is to grind away and do my job, but I hate it. Every day I find myself at a point where I’m just like “I hate this job, I need to find something else”. So I start searching around for something comparable in pay that I think I’ll enjoy, but then THAT task stresses me out so I just go back to my existing job tasks. It’s a never-ending cycle.
Part of me says I should find a way to make the best of my current situation, and the other part knows that’s a dead end and I need to get out. I’m stuck somewhere in between… How do I break this habit? How do I push past my fear of confrontation?

Yikes. Just re-read that after I posted it. I feel like the appropriate response would be “That’s life, suck it up and deal with it. If you’re that unhappy then do something about it.” From the outside it probably just seems like I’m lazy. I’m not though. I have no problem working hard to achieve a goal, but once my anxiety and anger reach a certain level it just wipes me out. I lose all motivation. Ugh. Just reading this is already getting to me.

First of all - you are not alone in having confrontations cause major anxiety and shutdowns. This is something a lot of people in my community deal with, to the point where they asked me to do a research stream on confrontation with anxiety. I’d like to share some of the articles we went through, hopefully some of them will help you. Don’t feel like you’re way out on your own, many people struggle with this exact thing, and your situation is not hopeless.

Here is an article that talks about this specifically related to anxiety and confrontation:

Article on fear of confrontation CAUSING anxiety, which is a slight twist!

Good overview of a relate-able person, plus POWER POSE sort of recommendation:

Some great steps you can take for non-immediate confrontations:

Some steps to build up to bigger confrontations:

Structured Problem Solving strategies:

I hope some of this is helpful to you.

  • Momma

Let me start by saying you have waaaay more self restraint and control then me my friend! I was a VERY confrontational person when I was a kid and teen and still am fairly confrontational as an adult. It sounds like you know when you need to walk away and that’s a good thing because trust me I speak from experience not walking away can sometimes get you into trouble.
But some forms of confrontation are good and need to happen. Confrontation that is going to end in someone getting physically hurt is never good confrontation and should be avoided if possible but confrontation that is going to be helpful in the long run like for example confronting someone about the way they treat you or trying to sort out a problem with a friend, family or co-worker are all positive forms of confrontation if you go about it the right way. I to get anxiety when confronting people mostly out of fear of how they’ll react and sometimes out of fear that I’ll hurt their feelings and I’m not gonna lie, it doesn’t always go as planned and it doesn’t always end on a happy note but when it’s all said and done I’m glad I stood up and spoke my mind because what was said needed to be said. You just need to make sure you approach the person and topic calmly and respectfully.

Also the appropriate answer to your question is NOT “suck it up” or anything along those lines you have a very VALID and RATIONAL fear and it’s something you’ve recognized as an issue and you had the courage to admit it and ask for help! And that’s not always an easy thing to do! You CONFRONTED you fear! :smiley:

Remember your thoughts, worries, fears and problems are VALID, and IMPORTANT and you DESERVE TO BE HEARD! Avoiding bad confrontation is good but so is having the courage to stand up and say “this is how I’m feeling and this is what I need in order to not feel this way anymore”

You’re Stronger Than You Know!


Okay, first of all, don’t be so hard on yourself. Everything here is valid. So you stop that. (: Don’t let it get to you. I’m glad that you reached out.

This honestly seems to be a very common issue with people right now. For a lot of reasons. I was talking about it recently with my partner. How people seem to be so afraid of confrontation. And a lot of that has to do with the fact that today’s society has made so many people feel that way. Like you’re not allowed to speak or you’ll be shut down. Like you’re supposed to suck it up and deal with it. That’s been my experience anyway. So I understand why you feel that way.

However, it’s so important that we as people speak up about what we are feeling. Obviously there is a time and place for it. So you have to use your own judgement to know if it’s appropriate. Especially in places like work. I think the most important thing when confronting people is to do it when you are of calm sound mind. Don’t do it when you’re upset. And if you can help it, do it in person instead of text messages. Tones can be so miss understood in a text. But if it’s just easier to text it, that’s okay. Just be sure to be kind, open minded and patient. Offer the same respect you would want someone to give you. But being open and honest about how you are feeling is the only way an issue can resolve.

If someone is bothering us and we never gather up the courage to talk to them, how can they ever know? I know that we often can really hope that people will figure it out on their own or the issue will vanish, but that isn’t always the case. People need to hear what’s going on so that an issue can be resolved. The key is always to approach gently. If we’re jerks on confrontation, it’s likely the response will be just as jerky.

I think people now-a-days don’t know how to be nice in their confrontation. And some people will do it indirectly and passive aggressively on social media. And that’s just not the way to handle it. It’s drama. It’s hurtful and never goes anywhere good.

It’s good to try to be open to others and their situations. To be willing to try to see from all perspectives. And sometimes we have to agree to disagree. To be kind even if we can’t agree with someone.

Sometimes confrontation doesn’t work out. We discover people may not be worth our time and energy and that’s okay. But be sure that you just go your separate way in a peaceful way. We don’t have to separate ourselves from people in hostile or toxic ways.

Anyway. Confrontation is never easy because we never know how people will respond. And that truly can be so anxiety inducing. But if we don’t, we are robbing ourselves of growing past what could be resolved. It may not be as awful as it feels. It’s kind of a risk. But it’s worth taking if you go about it right. Just think about it before hand an approach it careful. (: So that of things do go sour you can know you did your part in trying to handle it peacefully. You know? It’s all we can do.

Confrontation has ruined a few of my relationships. But it was more that they were not willing to confront in places that needed to be. They wanted to dust it under the rug, half ass it, not pay it as much awareness as it needed and always claimed to not be “in the right head space” for it. And it reslly just lead to the fall of a good friendship because so many toxic things were just let go.

There’s also been times where I had to confront people and it was the end of the relationship because they didn’t want to resolve it or face it. That happens sometimes. But it allowed me to filter out those that I needed to

But I have had plenty of confrontations in my life that I was grateful for. It brought me a peace of mind and resolved a lot of stress.

But, sometimes it’s just necessary. Just think on it a little bit. Figure out your approach. Do it when you’re calm. Try not to argue. If someone tries to lash back, just let them know you don’t want to fight. And you’re willing to talk it out civilly. Arguing never helps.

Anyway. I don’t know your situation so I have no idea if this is even helpful. But I know that confrontation can be a hard feat. There are times where it’s not necessary and times where it is. And yes, sometimes knowing the difference can be very difficult.

I’m still learning myself.

  • Kitty