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CHOG #8 - DO YOU LIKE CONFRONTATION?

Updated: Oct 22, 2022

I do not.

If possible, I try to avoid confrontation; but if not possible, watch out.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about a confrontation that she experienced that was of a quite personal and grieving situation. She would have done anything, I am quite sure, to not be in this particular confrontation; but she said that even though she avoids confrontations at almost all costs, when she is forced into one, it’s like an out-of-body experience. I think most of us can relate to finding ourselves in that situation. Sometimes, you cannot even adequately communicate to others exactly what happened during the confrontation, it’s just a blur, so high the tension and emotions are.


One of my sons, like my husband, does not shy away from a confrontation. He doesn’t seek it out but doesn’t mind making his point of view known, especially in his personal life. He’s comfortable with expressing displeasure and calling out incompetence when necessary. And unlike I mention in my “Tattoo Chog”, this similarity may not be with the son you think….(insert giggle giggle). My other son does not prefer to be a part of any type of awkwardness usually associated with any form of confrontation. He chooses to let a lot of situations “roll off his back”; but like me and my girlfriend described above, when he is forced to take up and confront a situation, watch out.


A few years ago, while on a trip to visit Hayden in New York City, we were at a late-night bar with my niece and great-niece and there was an unruly man at the bar. He was not so much accosting us directly, but he kept turning around and giving us the “eye-ball”. The three of us ladies were getting a little uncomfortable, but no “harm” had really been done. William’s back was to this man, but of course he was aware and obviously we were talking about it. The guy goes to the restroom in the back of the bar and on his way back, as he neared our table, he took ONE step toward us. William never flinched or even turned around, but told the man, “You better back it up”. There was no possibility of a need for further confrontation. William’s aura and words were totally enough, and we were the object of this man’s attention not a moment further.


But do you know people who always seem to chase a confrontation? Don’t you wonder how miserable their life must be. Sometimes I have been left to think, why is this person egging someone on or trying to find the bad in a situation? Is it maybe so they can feel important to themselves or to a group that might be witnessing the situation? Does the person being confronted deserve this type of criticism or engagement? I’m somewhere between my husband and Hayden’s ease of confrontation when necessary and William’s desire to avoid if possible. Without question, if it involves my family, I tend to confront in a knee-jerk reaction and sort out the details later. Sometimes that has not ended well, for me. But in almost a cowardly way, I usually give the situation I’m confronting some wiggle-room in case I have to back down from my position.


What about today’s culture of the “strong woman” that I talk about in one of my early “Chogs”? Do any of us women seek confrontation in business situations to showcase to others that we are not to be taken lightly, that we can handle a situation just as effectively as a man can? Do some men in today’s culture of “male toxicity” or the ”wussification” of men, lead some men to shy away from any form of confrontation so as not to fall into one of these categories? I have been in certain forums associated with business and someone says something so unnecessarily confrontational that I want to fall through the floor – how could they be comfortable saying something like that in front of a group? For me, I usually don’t want to draw that type of attention to myself in a business way. But I will say that I have seen just such an awkward situation, one that I would have thought would not have shown the person in a favorable light, end up working in their favor. As a parent, have you confronted a teacher or coach with what you perceive as a slight against your child that didn't actually warrant such an accusation? You can read a little about this topic in my book, Insert Giggle Giggle, Laughing Your Way through Raising Kids and Running a Business. Most of us parents can see ourselves at some point in this position I am quite sure.


So, confrontations. Do you seek, react, or avoid? I like the way each of my “men” treat a confrontation, neither seeking nor shying from. They just have different ways of handling confrontation that personifies who they are as men. Any of us can offer too much bluster or not enough, men or women. I think each of us can point to people in our personal or professional sphere that fall into either of these categories. It doesn’t necessarily make someone strong or weak when viewing them in what you may feel is the way a confrontation is handled. Not everything that happens is as important to one person as it is to another person. What I feel important to confront, you may see as trivial. What I might never feel comfortable saying, you may benefit from bringing up.

I love to look up the definition of words. There is not a good connotation (therefore situation) associated with confrontational – aggressive, disruptive, contentious, and uncooperative - but I don’t agree with that in all situations. You may also notice that I read a lot and have a tab on this blog with some favorite “book quotes”. Here is one you may find helpful before you head into a confrontation (and I am paraphrasing to save time): are the actions of the person in question intended to harm you personally; do you possess all the information about the situation; do you have anything to gain from a conflict?

Words to live by from Fredrik Backman’s novel, Anxious People. Funny, huh? I think we all feel a little anxious when in a confrontation……


Next up (Monday)…...Do You Feel Safe?

Don't forget to head over to Spotify for Kay's Gigglecast series.....


Always remember to insert a giggle giggle ~~ Kay 😊


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