I don’t like confrontation. I never have. I would prefer to roll into a ball with my hands over my ears than be yelled at. I withdraw.
Although I’ve taken courses in management, I’d rather continue to be a “cog”, because I detest confrontation. I know it’s a weakness. Overall, I have a very good management style – but if I had an employee who was keen on confrontation, I know I wouldn’t be able to cope.
That’s not to say that I won’t ever stand up for myself. But I prefer to hide behind words. I’d rather send an e-mail that I can take my time and plot out my argument carefully and logically – without emotion. I prefer calm logical discussion to a heated argument.
My first marriage was one big fight. Sometimes with me withdrawing the only way I knew how. If the argument started at home, I’d either withdraw to my room or I’d leave. He’d try to trap me in the car and yell and yell. I couldn’t handle it. I’d get out of the car. No matter where I was. I’d wait until the car was safely stopped and just get out and walk in the opposite direction. More than once I ended up walking several miles to get home – as I’d left my purse and phone in the car.
Sometimes he would follow. Most times not. Once I was out in public – the argument was over. Other people might see. He didn’t like that.
I think I used to think it was my fault. That I caused the arguments. I know now that there was never any way to win those fights. They were all the same fight. They weren’t about whatever we were talking about. They were about him winning. About him beating me down.
In the end, the only way to win was not to argue. And the best way to do that was to leave.
He continues to try to engage. It makes me weary. Now I’m waiting for the day I don’t have to think about it any more.
How do you handle confrontation?
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