Fearless Friday: How to Handle Confrontation
After 19 years of knowing my husband, I'm still learning. That's the wonder of marriage. Long story short, I've had a bit of a black cloud over my head in the work arena. Just a lot of weird situations. Anyhooo...I was telling my husband about two precarious situations - one at work and one via blogging - the other day and he just shut down. It was odd...but then again, we both tune out when we're thinking or multi-tasking. I continued talking and I noticed he was visibly staring in the opposite direction. I got upset. Pay attention to me!
What did I do? I snapped. I questioned him. What he said was a complete revelation and learning to me... "I just don't like confrontation. When you describe these situations to me...it makes my stomach hurt. Like...I physically get queasy."
I sat back and just thought for a minute. What's the big deal? I deal with this crap every day. In fact, if a day goes by without confrontation...I might shout from the rooftops.
Let me clarify. I'm not a jerk. Well, I try not to be but the reality is...confrontation has never scared me. I'd much rather deal with a situation and serve up a heavy dose of brutal honesty then to go to bed mulling over pointless crap, frankly. Turns out the rest of the world doesn't feel the same way.
Here I am...married to the same guy for five years and I learned something totally novel. Confrontation makes people REALLY uncomfortable. So, today, I'm going to tell you how I deal with confrontation or at least some catch phrases that will help ease you into getting more comfortable with confrontation.
And don't ever use..."It's not you, it's me."
- "I really love your vision, however; I don't have the bandwidth to take that project on right now."
- "I hear what you're saying. I do. I just can't commit to that right now."
- "I don't think I can take that on with 100% authenticity. Thank you for the offer."
- "I've been thinking about our conversation and I have to tell you, I'm upset. I don't agree with your point of view."
- "I'm upset and you should know."
- "I don't agree but I appreciate your opinion...here's why..."
- "I can't agree to those terms, the labor and resources required are immense."
- "I can't take this project on but I'd love to share some peer referrals that could knock this out of the park."
- "I can't take on the full scope of this project for that price."
- "It left me uncomfortable when you..."
- "I'll have to sleep on it and get back to you."
- "Why do you feel that way? I want to understand your point of view."
- "I really adore our friendship. Lately, your actions have been making me feel..."
- "I can't participate in this conversation. I really don't know him/her."
- "I'm not ready to talk about this now but I do want to clear the air with you."
No matter what, confrontation isn't fun but it doesn't have to be horrible. Honesty is always appreciated by both parties. Let's all work on getting a full night's sleep a lot more frequently!
Happy Friday Fearless Females!
Photography by: Jordan Heidenwith