It’s Hard to Confront People – What If I Hate Confrontation?

Yes, it is hard to confront people, to screw up our courage and take them on. So, some advice – DON’T!

Confrontation is simply one approach to fixing a problem, addressing someone’s behaviour that we may not like. And it’s not a very effective approach, either.

Whenever anyone is confronted, they will feel threatened, they will instantly go into their Red Brain and defend, argue, blame and attack. And in the bloody aftermath, they’ll blame you for the fallout while learning nothing.

Even worse, when most of us imagine confronting someone, we instantly go into our Red Brain, into fight or flight mode (and mostly flight!), and find many good reasons why it really isn’t that bad, so just leave it alone. Either way, whether we fight or flee, confrontation rarely solves the problem.

We give you complete permission to not confront anyone. BUT, we still need to fix the problem and address the issue. So how??

People are rarely aware of the impact of their actions and choices. Since we rarely get any type of feedback from others of any kind, most of us assume that everything is just fine, even when it isn’t. So the most effective strategy is simply making that person stop and think. Get them to listen and hear the problem. Help them see the situation differently.

In other words, make the first Shift to asking questions, and you will help them make the second Shift into thinking and considering the problem or issue.

We can do this not by confrontation, but by engagement. Here is a short excerpt from BrainFishing:

STEP #1Make the First Shift
The first step is consciously choosing to shift from telling to asking in many of our interactions. When we make this First Shift, when we start asking, when we listen with patience, this shift in us creates the Second Shift in them.

STEP #2They Engage and Make the Second Shift
A good question invites their Blue Brain to engage in the interaction. They make the Second Shift, and we both are in the land of problem solving. Our shift helps create their shift (BrainFishing, Chapter Two, page 21-22).

And when they aren’t defensive, when they’re thinking rather than reacting, when they’re Blue Brain kicks in, you’ll be able to get them to listen and that is the first step to getting the message across.

So stop with the confrontation, and engage instead. Ask a few questions, get them thinking and see what happens!