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You don’t have to be a Pushover to be Nice

The word “confrontation” is typically viewed as being inherently negative. In the news, the term “military confrontation” is often related to war. When heard in other connotations, the term still conjures unpleasant images like Conflict, Clashing, and Fighting. The thought of such unsettling terms can cause you to retreat, choosing the path of least resistance.

You might be Non-Confrontational if you were raised to be subservient (passive) instead of assertive. In an effort to be nice and accepted, the path of least resistance is to shrug off problems rather than confront/deal with them. If you are prone to worrying, you might be convinced that the worst-case scenario (Murphy’s Law) is inevitable if a problem is confronted rather than avoided. Such worst-case scenarios include the loss of a relationship or job.

By failing to confront others for clarification when they are offensive, will continue the behavior. This can cause you additional stress—leading to repressed anger. When anger is not appropriately expressed, the consequences range from stress-related illness, a hysterical fight in which harsh words and accusations are exchanged. Unresolved conflicts may create emotional distancing which often leads to an affair.

The person who has offended you may not even realize the consequence of his/her actions. Absentmindedness or unhealthy relationship patterns can lead to habitually poor choices.

If there is a rational explanation for their behavior, it can be easier to let go of your anger in order to voice your concerns in a calm manner. You can tell him/her that you understand the reason for their choice, and let them know how you feel. For example: “I’m sure you didn’t want to upset me when you decided to…”

If no rational explanation exists for their behavior, it may be more difficult to speak in a calm and rational manner, but you should still let them know that their actions have upset you. For example: “I’m hurt that you decided to act in this way, and I would like to know why you chose to do this.”

In both examples, the focus is on resolving the matter and thinking positively. These are far better options than “I can’t believe you did that!” or “You are such a jerk for doing this!”

By thinking of the problem not as a conflict, but as an opportunity to open a positive dialogue, discussing the problem will be easier. Click this link for our article on non-confrontational tendencies in the workplace.

For additional help with non-confrontational tendencies, call CrossRoads at 317-842-8881 if you are in Indianapolis/Central Indiana.