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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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Confrontations

June 2011

Have you ever had a situation where you had a person in your life, a co-worker, a friend, a partner, with whom you were having an issue but were choosing not to confront that person? Many people have issues with confrontations. They are scary. You are not sure what will happen. Or if it will even help! But one thing I can promise you, the situation will not improve if you do not share that there is an issue that needs to worked on!

If you are having problems confronting someone, the first step is to ask yourself, why? Why are you so reluctant to talk to this person? Are you scared of them? Are you scared of what may happen? Are you scared of the intensity? Is anger an appropriate emotion for you to feel? Look and see what your blocks are to the confrontation and then work on those issues. If you need to practice the skills, then pull a friend aside to help you role play the situation until you are comfortable. Once you have worked through your side of the issue, time to give it a try.

On the other hand, if you are fearful of the other person’s reactions, you may need to set up the situation to make it as safe as possible. If it is a work situation, you may need to include HR in the discussion. Having someone else there, in either a work or personal issue, can help to make the situation more contained. One of the things that you can do is frontload the discussion. Let the person know that this is difficult for you to do, which may allow both of you to slow down and keep the intensity more tolerable.

However, until you have told that person what is bothering you, you cannot be mad at them. You cannot expect them to read your mind. It seems apparent and reasonable on your side of the issue. It appears reasonable on the other side as well. Once you begin to talk about it, the solution may be very simple. It may take a great deal of work. But until you talk about it, there is no solution possible!

So, do the work that you need to do, then confront the issue. You may be very pleased with the results!!

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