How to handle confrontation

how to handle confrontation

Work and home life can sometimes be stressful. Tempers can get flared and this may lead to confrontation. So what do you do if the thought of confrontation makes you run for the hills? I, like many of you hate confrontation and would do anything to avoid it, even if that can lead to prolonging the problem. Whether you’re worried about upsetting someone or annoying them with your response, confrontation is a way of tackling a issue and correcting it. Bear in mind confrontation does not always lead to a argument, so whether you like to bury your head in the sand or vent your thoughts, here’s the best way to handle  confrontation.

You like to bury your head in the sand…

Whilst it’s scary confronting a issue, hiding your inner feelings will ultimately lead to you devaluing yourself. By confronting the issue you are showing that your point matters just as much as anyone else.

  • Begin by – work to grow your assertiveness by starting small. Learn how to say you don’t like something. For example if you get a cold call, politely tell them no at the start before they go into their spill. Alternatively you can complain about something you didn’t like instead of just accepting it.
  • Change how you think – often people won’t know how their actions affect you unless you tell them. As long as you’re polite they will be happy to adjust the way they act, especially if they know it’s upsetting you.
  • Think of what to say – ultimately you don’t want to get the message confused. Simply say how the situation is making you feel and how you want to work together going forward.

Do you fold at the first hurdle?

Do you find you start off well trying to tackle a problem, but when things get tough you run out of steam? Often the thought that you’re coming across as aggressive can be very off putting and result in you not getting your point across.

  • Your feelings matter – do you ever find yourself starting your point with ‘I’m not the only one, Hannah is unhappy with the way things are currently’. By bringing someone else in to support your argument you are showing that you feelings don’t matter. If you feel something isn’t right and should be changed take responsibility and own your concerns.
  • Don’t say sorry – if you start your sentence with ‘I’m sorry but’ you’re instantly undermining your point. Don’t make your point seem small and insignificant by adding words like ‘I’m slightly’, or ‘I’m a little’. It makes people consider your point is not as worthy as if you started it with ‘I’m concerned’.
  • What is it you want to happen? – if you’re not happy with something you probably have a ideal situation in mind. When you raise your point let people know what your ideal outcome is. By being specific you’re a lot harder to ignore.

If you’re quick to explode

Do you find confrontation makes you so frustrated you get angry and end up blowing up? People who shout or get angry can often get people’s backs up and end up alienating themselves. Whilst you may feel pleased you’ve got this off your mind it’s likely your point won’t be listened to. If you’re hot headed here’s the best way to tackle confrontation.

  • Don’t sidetrack – try not to bring previous upsets or concerns into your point, you may forget what you’re arguing about and lose track of what’s frustrating you.
  • Don’t jump the gun – if you find yourself itching to jump on someone halfway through their point if you disagree – stop – take a breath and let them finish. It should allow you to avert your emotions taking over and finishing the argument for you.
  • Start your point with I – avoid pointing the figure and stating ‘you did’, or ‘I don’t like the way you handle this’. By using the word you you’re instantly blaming the individual which can cause them to take offence. Start your point with ‘I believe’, or ‘I’m worried about’. This will make people see how the issue affects you.

how to handle confrontation

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