Monday, April 14, 2008

My failure at confrontation

I've noticed that as I become older, I'm a little better at confrontation than I used to be.

That is to say, that I will now confront someone when I have no other choice.

I wasn't allowed to have an opinion.. or if I did.. I should keep that to myself because nobody cared.

You did as you were told - period. There was no conversation and if you attempted anything resembling one, you paid dearly. I learned a LONG time ago, to keep my yap shut.

So as I grew up I went along with whatever anyone said because I didn't want to make waves. I was constantly on the look out for anything that would rock the boat. It was better to just be invisible and fade into the background than it was to speak up and take the chance of someone knocking the hell out of you because they didn't agree.

Somewhere along the line, I put *silence + obedience = love*.

I still have a hard time really voicing anything that may cause a rift. A lot of times, I internalize things and I feel the resentment building inside of me. It's with friends, other family and some coworkers.

It's something I am actively working on...


Alexys Fairfield said...

At least you are working on areas to improve your life. Improvement starts with baby steps. Just take it one day (and one step) at a time.

Have a wonderful day.

Mike said...

I used to be the same; didn't want to hurt peoples' feelings. I still don't want to hurt feelings, but some things in life became too important to not have to stand up and fight for them.

My daughter is one of those issues. I'll confront anyone and do whatever I have to in defence of her. In a way, I'm surprised how easy it is.

I've realized that when one contemplates confrontation for one's own sake, there are all those rationalizations we make. We're basically gentle, so we beat ourselves up instead of someone else. But when we know that someone, or something, is so important that we cannot be passive about it, the guilt goes out the window and we're prepared to fight anyone and anything. And wonderful things happen.

Confrontation is good - but it doesn't always have to be like a bull in a china shop. My daughter, for example, has a negative response to open confrontation - all the defenses go up and she closes up. No purpose served. The oblique approach works wonders, though. "I feel .....because ...."

Confrontation is something that needs to be practiced with discretion - but avoiding it is not in anyone's best interests.

Tactful, but firm is better, but if it requires a stand-up fight to get someone's attention, do it when there are no kids around to panic and be traumatised. But do it.

Whoops, sorry, that was much too long for a comment!

Fran said...

Michelle, you have your opinions, and you have to work to tell your opinions.
That's good to know exactly our problems, work on it, step by step you'll win.

cardiogirl said...

I know how you feel, I was raised that way and that is exactly how I feel. It's so much easier to just go along rather than fight.

Anything to keep the peace.

But it's hard to live that way. It's something I'm working on changing for my own children. They seem to have no problem with confrontation, however.

Surgeon in my dreams said...

I grew up the same way. I am now 47 and it is still very difficult. Both on my job and at home.

rose said...

nice blog


Karen ^..^ said...

~~You did as you were told - period. There was no conversation and if you attempted anything resembling one, you paid dearly. I learned a LONG time ago, to keep my yap shut.~~

Wow. This is precisely how I grew up. Don't dare ask why, dont dare argue, NEVER talk back. If you even answered a question, on any given day it could be considered "talking back". The constant traps and pitfalls they laid to catch us doing something wrong so they could justify a beating. I'm still feeling the sting of your other post about your brother not getting out of the pool. All 3 of mine were just like that. But what I didnt realize back then was that they were every bit as damaged as I was. Even more so now.

Keep up the good work.

My marriage failed because I married someone just as controlling as the home I escaped from. Go figure. Been a single mom for the past 9 years now.