Helping you get through tough times

How to deal with Confrontation

Wooden figuresNobody likes it, but we all disagree from time to time. The important thing to remember is how we deal with confrontation can really affect how we feel about the outcome. Knowing you have control of how you respond can make the process a little easier.

It’s normal to have conflict in relationships but we need to be able to deal with it. These tips can help you to get through it in a productive and respectful manner:

1. Be clear

know exactly what it is that’s bothering you and what outcome you want to achieve by addressing the issue. This keeps you focused and prevents you getting defensive and going off topic. There is nothing worse than leaving without knowing exactly what the issue was in the first place. Writing things down beforehand can help you clarify your thoughts and feelings.

2. Take responsibility

It takes two to tango so before you confront the other person/people take some time to realise where you might have to take responsibility for the problem at hand and ensure the other party knows that you are aware if some of the blame lands on you.

3. Listen

Don’t get defensive straight away listen to what the other person has to say. As hard as it may be to hear they usually have points to make and if you acknowledge that they’ll be more likely to listen to you as well.

4. Don’t be passive aggressive

Don’t approach the subject until you feel ready to deal with it. Try to avoid digs and subtle hints in hopes they will realise you’re angry. Face it head on when you do feel ready to deal with the issue.

5. Be respectful

It’s easy to feel attacked when dealing with confrontation especially when the other person isn’t expecting it. Be respectful of the other person and realise they may need time to digest the issue and fully understand, it may not be solved straight away. So be patient and respectful of the other person.

Remember, no one enjoys confrontation and it’s in everyone’s interest to deal with problems as efficiently as possible. Always take the other persons perspective into consideration but don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.

This blog was written for ReachOut.com by our Youth Editorial Board member Clodagh O’Sullivan.

Helpful links

How to listen and be open-minded Resolving differences Telling someone big news

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