A recent chat with two girlfriends within a span of two days made me think about the word actually means. Despite differences in their individual background stories, they both appeared to have difficulty expressing themselves/ their feelings to their close/once close friends. They both disclosed that they weren’t the kinds to CONFRONT. Now, I knew what the word meant but thought of googling the exact meaning anyway. And this is what Dr. Google had to say:
Confrontation is a hostile or argumentative situation or meeting between opposing parties.
“a confrontation with the legislature”
I believe that the above examples were a case of unexpressed feelings and thoughts rather than creating a hostile environment between two parties, and here are some of my thoughts with the underlying idea of developing or enhancing Emotional Intelligence in the adult population:
Recognising your feelings and putting them into words for others, helps avoid repeated thought patterns regarding the event or behaviour that has caused feelings of hurt. Unless you are able to forgive/accept, forget and move on! (in which case, Kudos to you!)
Honesty makes or breaks a relationship! Yes, some individuals maybe un capable of handling honest feedback from others – maybe they haven’t been exposed to honest feelings? Or they may feel caught off guard by others, or even attacked! Hence the words and timing matter quite a lot when it comes to having these honest conversations. Everyone technically claims to believe that honest and trust are important elements to any relationship but maybe the interpretation of these words is an individual matter?!
The difficulty conversation is not going to be easy, but you owe it to yourself to accept or not accept certain kind of treatment from others. If you are a parent, you owe it to your children to model them how to manage and expressing difficult emotions. Children’s emotional maturity is one of the important roles of a parent and discussing with them your private feelings (intensity depends on the age of the child) and how you are going to manage them can be an important life lesson for you little ones!
So heres the simple steps to having difficult but important conversations with those that matter:
- Firstly, tell yourself, it is NOT A CONFRONTATION!
- Then gather your thoughts regarding the event and jot down your feelings, I mean, actually write them down if you aren’t used to expressing honestly on a regular basis
- Set a date! Pre warn the other person, very gently and calmly that ‘you need to talk (coz they matter, the relationship matters).
- Rehearse your dialogues with a partner or a significant other who may be aware of your thought processes. Ensure that you use the appropriate words to express yourself so as the other person gets a clear idea of exactly how you view things and how it makes you feel.
- Gather all the courage! – yes you may feel like backing down and may feel like carrying on like nothings wrong and yes its completely normal to feel that way. The knot or the butterflies in your stomach while you prepare for the conversation, only proves that the relationship AND your feelings are important!
- Being an adult requires to be kind to yourself and determine for yourself the type of treatment you will and will not tolerate from others. Being clear about this, not only improves your self confidence and self esteem but also clarifies to others what is expected of them.
Good luck on strengthening your existing relationship and on building new ones! xx
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