How To Prepare To Confront Someone In A Healthy Way

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

How To Prepare To Confront Someone In A Healthy Way

Confrontation is tough. It is uncomfortable and stressful. Confrontation can cause tension between people, which can affect relationships. For each of these reasons it is normal for a person to try hard to avoid confrontation.

The problem with avoiding confrontation is that when you avoid confrontation you prevent change and growth. You also are stuck with dealing with the same issues with others because they do not realize there is an issue.

There are methods to use when confronting a person. It can be done in a healthy and constructive way, which can minimize the discomfort that comes with the encounter. Consider the following tips on how to confront someone in a healthy and constructive way.

Tip 1: Know Your Feelings

Before confronting a person, it is important for you to understand your own feelings. Try to understand why you are feeling the way you are feeling.

Confronting a person without understanding these two components will affect your ability to effectively deliver your message. Be sure to take time to understand your feelings and where they come from, before confronting the other person.

Tip 2: Know Why You Are Confronting This Person.

People can have a profound influence on us without even realizing it. Sometimes, you can have a hard time understanding why someone is affecting you so strongly. Understanding what you are feeling and why you are confronting someone in a clear and concrete way helps a great deal with effectively confronting them.

Consider your feelings for this person, is it…

  • Love?
  • Grief?
  • Hate?
  • Guilt?
  • Affection?
  • Resentment?
  • Romantic Interest?
  • Concern?
  • Interest?

Each of these feelings can have an effect on how we approach people. Understanding the central drive for the confrontation is important. It is also important to recount the facts about the situation, and keep in mind your perspective of the facts may be different than their own.

Tip 3: Conquer Your Fears.

It is intimidating to confront another person, especially when you are not used to or comfortable with confrontation. A person may have many different fears behind confronting a person, like conflict, rejection, or hurting that person’s feelings.

A great way to conquer your fears are to weigh the following:

  • Best Case Scenario
  • Worst Case Scenario
  • Most Likely Scenario

Using this method helps you understand the situation from what you are most afraid of, what you want to come out of the confrontation, and establishing a realistic expectation about the outcome of the confrontation. This can relieve stress and anxiety about the actual confrontation.

Tip 4: Seek Support.

Everyone has been in a situation in which they needed to confront someone. It is a very relatable experience, and one that many people can help you through. Talking it out with a trusted family member or friend can provide you with support and perspective that can make the encounter much easier to handle. Consider seeking support from a friend, parent, family member or therapist.

Tip 5: Know What You Need To Communicate.

To prepare for the confrontation, be sure you know what you need to express AND what you want to accomplish from the confrontation. Be sure to reflect on:

  • How you want to confront a person
  • How you will assert your needs
  • How you prevent yourself from being aggressive with your expectations

You may choose to write out your thoughts about these points in preparation for the confrontation. This could help you ensure that you express yourself in an assertive, healthy and productive way.

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