Maybe not everything needs to be confronted, but some things do. Having a fear of confrontation can keep you stuck in unhealthy situations and stunt your emotional and mental growth.
We all, from time to time, feel reluctant to approach others about things that either make us feel uncomfortable or downright furious. This reluctance can come from fear of ourselves or fear of the person in question. We may even be unsure of the situation, and its need for confrontation.
Do you have fear of confrontation?
Confronting people, groups, or situations is difficult sometimes. But it’s usually out of the pure fear we feel at disturbing some semblance of peace. However, unless situations are addressed, things cannot change for the better.
So, yes, confrontations are necessary, and we must learn to recognize if we are one of those people who are afraid to step forward. Here are a few ways we can discover this.
Do you avoid things? I mean, do you often let things go unchecked that later affect you or others in a negative way?
You see, avoidance is a huge red flag proclaiming that you have a fear of confrontation. You may let people disrespect you because they intimidate you. This is how fear plays into that situation. When you have a fear of confrontation, you’ll not only avoid certain situations, but you will start to avoid being around particular people all the time. Do you do this?
While those who have a fear of confrontation may not have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, they may be well on their way to achieving one. And I say that in the most unfortunate way possible.
People who refuse to confront situations in their lives that should be addressed start to develop anxious feelings. In fact, their default emotions are wrapped in anxiety. If you’re feeling anxious most of the time, it could be all those things you’ve failed to face.
3. Unusual preoccupation with chores
While it is perfectly normal to be tidy, and many people do this to an extreme because of a compulsive disorder, some individuals clean and organize obsessively because they don’t want to face an issue. It’s true. When a confrontation dwells in the back of your head and you know it really needs to be addressed, you might organize something instead.
You see, staying obsessively busy or preoccupied eliminates time to confront someone. Maybe your boyfriend’s been inappropriate, or your girlfriend is crossing boundaries, but you cannot talk to them about this. You stay busy in hopes that the situation will sort itself out. Is this you?
4. Emotional and physical health problems
Here’s one thing you might find strange. Did you know that holding too much inside, not addressing toxic actions, or failing to confront important issues can affect your health?
If you’ve started to notice odd health problems, pains for no reason, and even fatigue, it could be due to not properly dealing with disrespectful words or actions. Not putting unhealthy situations in check can even cause long-term illnesses or emotional damage. If you’re experiencing this already, could it be that you’ve been avoiding confrontation for years?
So, how can we turn this around?
Alright now, we’ve identified some signs that you may have a fear of confrontation. So, if you relate to these signs, here are a few things you should try.
1. Recognize the “pushover” traits
Nothing can be changed until you recognize what it is. If you see that you’re letting people take advantage of you, then you can start a more detailed process of putting a stop to this treatment.
While it is okay to stay quiet in some circumstances, this is not always the best move. If you’re being affected physically and emotionally by holding things in, then you’re being a pushover and suffering greatly for this. Recognize the truth so you can move forward.
2. Put some of your assumptions to rest
One of the reasons people are so scared of confrontation is because they assume this move will alienate them from the person in question. You see, we often walk on eggshells around certain people, and that is so unhealthy. This is all from the assumption that our confrontation will cause even more problems than before.
In reality, confrontations are good things, done in a kind but assertive manner.
3. Be assertive with “I” statements
Instead of confronting someone by starting off with “You do this, or you do that”, instead, start with statements about yourself. For example, if your coworker is making you feel uncomfortable, try saying,
“I do not feel comfortable when you say or do certain things.”
Now, depending on the person, this may not change. However, if you never speak up, it certainly will not change. In fact, if someone is being inappropriate and you do not confront them, they may actually think you like what they’re saying. Let them know how you truly feel, despite the fear.
4. Keep some thoughts in a journal
If you’re afraid to confront someone, keep a journal with ideas about how life may be better if you did confront them.
Would you become better friends over honesty? Would your intimate relationship improve if you felt more comfortable? Would your work situation make you want to stay at your job instead of looking for another one? Write a list of all benefits that could come from facing your problems directly.
5. And practice this bravery often
Not every form of confrontation works with all people. In fact, one way may seem too weak while another may be way too assertive and come off as cruel. It may take some time to hone your confrontation skills, and it will be worth it.
Confrontation is a good thing
While being vicious fighting is not good, confronting someone about your feelings is a must. If you recognize yourself in these traits above, then it’s time to make a change. But you don’t have to rush into confronting everything at once. Take your time and take it slowly until you perfect the art of letting people know how you really feel. You will be glad you did this.
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