For a majority of people, even the idea of how to confront someone becomes a stressful experience. However, it’s important to confront others when their behavior or action affects you. Before the confrontation, it’s important to strategize about it so that emotions don’t take the best of you and make you more resistant to such future confrontations. Moreover, running away from confrontation can lead to the building up of emotions that might explode disproportionately at inappropriate moments and may add up to more problems.
Hence, confrontation seems difficult, but is a necessary step to acknowledge your situation and be honest about it to the other person. When done effectively, it can even help in building positive feedback that helps both of you to grow.
So, how to confront someone? The best hack is to use the 3 confrontational “I” statements in 3 steps. The steps are:
- Using “I” statements to describe the other person’s behavior: Explain what you are confronting them for in a calm manner. Before doing this, you need to do a little homework and reexamine your facts so that you don’t confront anyone on assumptions and feelings. For example, if you wanted to confront your partner for cheating on you. You can start with, “I know that you are cheating on me, I know this because I saw your online chats”
- Using “I” statements to describe their behavior’s impact: Explain how their behavior has impacted or hurt you. Try to be honest about your feelings and convey what you are feeling now as you are confronting them. For example, “I know that you are cheating on me, I know this because I saw your online chats. It’s making me really sad and I feel betrayed, even now I feel miserable and..”
- Using “I” statements to describe what you want: It’s important to state what you want from the other person or it would look like you only want to point out their mistake. You don’t need to try too hard to win the argument or get defensive on your facts, you can take a break or jump to another topic. Keep your confrontation simple and short.
Finishing the above example, the confrontation statement could be, “I know that you are cheating on me, I know this because I saw your online chats. It’s making me really sad and I feel betrayed, even now I feel miserable and alone. I want you to acknowledge your behavior and not talk to me until I want to”
Bonus tip: Be careful to not include what you believe or think that the other person is feeling or thinking as you are assuming that and it can shift the focus from confrontation to blame.
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