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Confrontation Makes Me Anxious


Phantastic Mirage

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I had a rough time this morning which resulted in me not going to work today (whole story is in my blog) and I'm having a hard time coming up with scenarios in my head as to what our conversation make or may not be tomorrow about why I was out today. I'm not going to sleep tonight.

Basically, I'm super p***** thinking about it because no matter what I think about saying tomorrow, everything it going to end up in some kind of fall out on my part. I feel like I kind of have to because too many times in life, I've been put in situations where I had no word or if I tried to stand up for myself I got knocked down.

Well, not tomorrow. I will say what I'm going to say as best as I can. And if I start yelling about it I'm just going to have to take it as is. I can't stand anymore bulls*** and I will not have my words held back again. Not even if I'm talking to a boss.

Basically, I've hit a point in my life where I just don't care. I care that I'm living a pretty good life, sure. But I don't care about my relationships with other people anymore. I've come to realize that there are parts of me people aren't going to like. And if I get somebody near me telling me about what kind of person I am, I correct them. Customers...can kiss my ass and so can my boss if he's going to be all like, "You didn't show up yesterday" "Well, of course I didn't! -insert other lines here."

Anyway... is this an incorrect way of thinking? I need to get my confidence from somewhere. And if I can't start here with standing up for myself, even if I don't execute it in the "right manner", then I never will be able to and feel good about it versus doing it then feeling bad and nervous the whole way through...*sigh*

Seriously though, why do I always feel nervous about standing up for myself, even though it's not something I have to do often?

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Hi Phantastic Mirage,

I briefly read your blog. I highly recommend you to re-gain your composer, take a step-back, and don't say stupid thing to your boss.

I'm an employer and had someone who behaved exactly like how you wanted to behave, and it was not pretty.

The person was wronged in her previous workplaces, and she simply unleashed her accumulated anger at me when I told her she was late one day.

I'm one of the most reasonable boss you would find. I found her anger toward me was completely misdirected and out of proportion. The old me will simply explode and fire her on-spot. However, since I was exposed to spirituality aspect of life, I was able to stay calm and have a frank talk with this employee. Luckily, this employee was able to see her fault and apologized.

You should not get angry at people as a way to exert your confidence. Real confidence comes from within and from peace, not from bullying and attacking.

I fear you might misdirect your energy and turn a small issue into a much bigger one.

Please don't do it. If you keep up this attitude, you will turn away people who actually have a good heart and do care about your well-being. At the end, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy that "the world is against me."

Please be honest with yourself.

I'm passionate about this issue because the employee is giving me a lot of issue. She works hard. Deep down, I know she is also a good person but her trouble-past seem to be dragging her down. Today, I had to give her another verbal warning for having another unwarranted outburst. Again, she was able to reflect on herself and apologized. She told me her past employers treated her poorly and people took advantage of her goodness so she became defensive about everything. I told her that I completely understand but you need to be open when you finally meet someone genuinely care about your well-being. If you continue to give me this BS for no reason, no matter how good I am, you will push me away and force me to terminate you. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy again.

I'm keeping this person because I think she came into my life to teach me some lessons about acceptance and patience.

Again, confidence comes from within. What you have suggested is a destructive mindset and bring you unnecessary pain and agony in the long run. I know a lot of movies or TV shows demonstrate this kind of behaviour as a way to "Stand up for yourself" but people who wrote these scripts are unenlightened people.

Edited by idontknowwhy
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I hope I'm not too late to add my agreement with idon'tknowwhy's post. That was great advice, great understanding of both sides of the issue of standing up for yourself in a confrontational way and stepping back, taking some time, and then finding a diplomatic, yet powerful, way to discuss the situation.

Your post was interesting to me particularly because I was dealing with a related situation yesterday. It wasn't a work situation, but more of a social issue. There is a person who has definite personality issues, which she admits to, and everyone in this group that meets, knows it. But she has singled me out to insult. I finally reached a point last night when I thought there was no reason for me to hang in, because she wasn't going to change, and I didn't like to lower myself to her level and make a scene. It was one of the strangest things that I've ever had occur in my life, when suddenly I realized why this woman reacted to me in such a negative manner. It was literally as if a curtain had been raised on my consciousness, when I saw that the woman has no sense of humor. It has always been my personality style to be what I hope would be taken as witty and entertaining. Perhaps this is a defense, and perhaps it is really more of my basic personality structure. But now I see that, not only this woman, but others who have acted as she has towards me in the past, were likely made to feel uncomfortable, as if they (who need to be "in control") were feeling ungrounded. So...basically what I'm saying is what idontknow why wrote: you can learn something from others that will teach you great lessons about yourself. Idontknow why used spiritual truths, and I agree that when we meet difficult people, it can be very wise on many levels to practice our patience, step back from reacting, and see that person as an excellent teacher, like a gift from the universe, who is there to make us wiser and more competent. It takes practice, of course, but it is worth trying it out.

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I often find myself running over recent situations, fantasizing about how I'd have liked to handle them but didn't. I'm not a fan of confrontation either and if they do take issue with you missing your last shift I'd like to think I'd just tell them it's due to personal problems - which is true, and they've got no right to be digging for details. I see your point though, like I say I often find myself fantasizing how I could've handled such and such a situation and that can be quite frustrating and another reason to beat yourself up and I'm not sure you'll be any worse off if you do stand up for yourself there and then however you see fit. Good luck, and keep us posted.

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Thanks for your advice guys. Luckily there was no confrontation yesterday so that made me feel a little better, but I'm still upset over the fact that I can't exert assertiveness. I never really learned how without trying to defend myself in a way like school children would. After the bulls*** in school I just never really talked to anybody. Even reflecting now I'm trying to figure out why I was so by myself all the time as a teen. Mostly cause nobody really offered me to hang out with them, but was it because I was pushing them away? I don't know anymore. I never went out of my way either to make friends cause I really couldn't trust anybody. Even now I'm trying to make a friend but I'm scared of getting TOO close to them. Then, there was another friend I haven't talk to in a while...I've thought about sending them messages on facebook and the like, but most conversations now with people are just "Hey, how are you?" type things. Sometimes I try to schedule an outing but it never comes to full flourish, either because they were busy or I was lazy & had no money at the time. It's just easy not to do the work, I guess cause it makes me anxious. People make me anxious cause I don't know what to expect from them, I guess?

Anyway, so yeah...nothing much to add. I mean, I liked all of your suggestions but I still can't figure out how to apply it.

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Oh, I live with this daily. I hate conflict. I'm a push-over. I say "Yes" to any request made of me because I hate the conflict in saying no. My therapist told me to stop worrying about how others perceive me and start worrying more about myself. I've been trying it.

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Thanks for your advice guys. Luckily there was no confrontation yesterday so that made me feel a little better, but I'm still upset over the fact that I can't exert assertiveness. I never really learned how without trying to defend myself in a way like school children would. After the bulls*** in school I just never really talked to anybody. Even reflecting now I'm trying to figure out why I was so by myself all the time as a teen. Mostly cause nobody really offered me to hang out with them, but was it because I was pushing them away? I don't know anymore. I never went out of my way either to make friends cause I really couldn't trust anybody. Even now I'm trying to make a friend but I'm scared of getting TOO close to them. Then, there was another friend I haven't talk to in a while...I've thought about sending them messages on facebook and the like, but most conversations now with people are just "Hey, how are you?" type things. Sometimes I try to schedule an outing but it never comes to full flourish, either because they were busy or I was lazy & had no money at the time. It's just easy not to do the work, I guess cause it makes me anxious. People make me anxious cause I don't know what to expect from them, I guess?

Anyway, so yeah...nothing much to add. I mean, I liked all of your suggestions but I still can't figure out how to apply it.

Hi,

I think you just need to "balance" it. Being assertive doesn't mean going out all the way and being aggressive at people because you will be taking it too far.

Here is an example how I will approach a hypothetical situation:

Backgrounds:

1. You have been on-time for the majority of the time and rarely late.

2. One-day, you are late.

3. You boss told you are late.

4. You become upset when your boss said you are late because you feel you have been on-time all the time except for today. You feel like you should get a "break" for occasional lateness.

Facts:

1. You are late. Technically, you are in the wrong. Your boss has the right to say "you are late".

2. Since you are rarely late, a reasonable boss will not reprimand you for a single infraction.

3. Even if you are boss reprimand you for the single refraction, technically, he is in the "right". He is not reasonable but he is still in the "right".

Incorrect response:

"I'm rarely late. This is the first-time I was late in over X months. Why are you reprimanding me for a single infraction? This is so unfair! You ##@$#$#R" .

A response like this is unnecessary, overboard, and emotional. It will trigger an immediate anger from the recipient of that message unless that person is well-grounded. Remember, technically, you are in the "wrong" here for being late.

Correct response:


I'm so sorry that I'm late. I'm late because I [insert true reason] . I'm sorry. This is the first-time I'm late for over x months and hope you could understand.

A response like this conveys you accept the responsibility of being in the "wrong". You are fulfilling your end of the bargain by taking responsibility. However your boss's response will be out of your control. If he is reasonable, he will appreciate your response and let it slide. If he is unreasonable, he might reprimand you. Regardless of the outcome, you KNOW you did the RIGHT thing. If the boss is unreasonable, then you could toy with the idea to find someone who will value you.

Being able to accept responsibility and apologize is a sign of strength instead of weakness. My philosophy of dealing with others is to fulfill my end of the bargain FIRST. When you always do the right thing, you are AT-PEACE with yourself.

Edited by idontknowwhy
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