Confrontation & Grudges


People never cease to amaze me. It is all too easy to expect everyone to think in a similar manner to oneself, yet be perplexed when the outcome is different. The push and pull of human communication and relationships are fascinating to me. Two main issues on my mind as far as character goes are confrontation and grudges. Let’s roll this around a bit, shall we.

 

I am naturally a positive and generally upbeat person as you have probably concluded and I want to see the best in people. Yes, I become disappointed when negativity arises but I tend to process it so I can let it go. I don’t need to carry baggage everywhere I go. However, if something is affecting me in a negative or displeasing manner I address it. This brings me to confrontation. If you are delivered an unsavory situation or something is on your mind, would you confront the issue head on?

 

I have been flabbergasted by people’s mannerisms where confrontation is concerned. On numerous occasions I have witnessed an individual that lets things pass unnoticed simply to avoid confrontation.  Although I understand the “not wanting to make waves” mentality, at what point should one slap the water to create ripples?  On the other side of the confrontation coin, there are those that go out of their way to seek out confrontation. They just can’t wait to get in someone’s face to force their agenda. Usually not laced with positive or helpfulness.  This is always a bit unnerving to me. There is however, a third confrontation style to throw into the mix. The Choose Your Battles style of dealing with things. I fall about here on the confrontation scale. I have absolutely no problem speaking up for myself or others. If something is troubling me I address it as soon as possible – so I can keep going forward. I don’t like hanging about kicking at the proverbial sand trying to read someones mind or intentions because that’s when over-thinking kicks in. With a brain that wants to roll things around, it is in my best interest to address things immediately to avoid building up crazy scenarios. This proves difficult at times and for this I am not always thrilled with myself. However, I am only human and life is filled with lessons. I have become quite adept at quickly shifting gears to trusting that things work out the way they are supposed to, with or without my thoughts contorting my emotions so it is best to just breathe through it.

 

Through watching how others choose their confrontation style,I realize that I am very comfortable with where I’m at. I used to be a bit of a “hot head” as my sisters will probably tell you, I’m sure. Being the youngest I had to hold my own. More because I was passionate about so-called right and wrong. Injustice wasn’t fair and I was going to shout it from the rooftop! I think I may have fallen off the roof at some point and landed in a vat of glitter. Over the past 15 years or so my temperament has changed significantly to one of happy-go-lucky and balanced. I see absolutely nothing wrong with wearing rose-coloured glasses. I think the big bang moment for me was watching another female get really aggressive in confrontation and I saw how ugly it is…with a capital U. I didn’t want to ever risk becoming that. On that note, avoiding confrontation is no healthier for the Soul than the all-out knock down-drag out technique either;  in my thinking anyway. I have recently become more open to confrontational response. I appreciate the honest approach. Preferably with a bit of compassion within. There is nothing worse than working up the nerve to pour out your thoughts and feelings and have the other person either invalidate what you feel or ignore the issue completely. Confrontation doesn’t need to be earth-shattering and decision oriented. It just needs to be real and honest. What happens with those thoughts and feelings is up to the recipient to interpret.  When we converse with an open mind we learn more about the other individual as well as ourselves as long as we go in with the intent of openness and honesty. I love a good debate as much as an emotional heart-to-heart where personal confrontation is concerned – as long as respect of personal opinion is undertaken. Above all else, respect of those involved makes confrontation enlightening.

 

 

 

“I think confrontation is healthy, because it clears the air very quickly.”  – Bill Parcells

Grudges. Do you hold a grudge? Do you stew over stuff and vow to never forgive or forget? Have you ever cut someone out of your life because of your anger or bitterness? I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say, ” I will never forgive so-and-so because…”  Really? That other person has probably moved on ages ago wondering what the bee in your bonnet was all about! What I find most upsetting is hearing of a person refusing to ever see or talk to a family member over something petty or trivial. How very sad. Grudges have absolutely no value. A grudge is a parasite sucking happiness from the person carrying it. I believe that ego is at play in most grudge situations and if we can just put pride out of equation while inserting love, all will flow as it should. Why can’t we all just get along? Open your heart and your mind to let kindness rule. Kindness is not weakness – it is strength of character.

 

 

 

 

“I’ve had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.”  – Buddy Hackett 

I don’t know about you but I’d rather be dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Confrontation & Grudges

  1. Very wise words here! “I have become quite adept at quickly shifting gears to trusting that things work out the way they are supposed to, with or without my thoughts contorting my emotions so it is best to just breathe through it.” Good for you!! Hope others around you are taking notice and trying this for themselves!!

    This is such a major issue in the world today. There is so much angst. I have recently come to realize that my life has been a rehearsal for sharing perspectives and ways to heal relationships and feelings about relationships.So there you have a sneak preview of Cyndi’s current life project/adventure.

    By the way…
    Your whole viewpoint, in my humble opinion, is very, very healthy!

    • Thank you, Cyndi. I try to not stress about every little thing that comes along. Every day is a learning experience but keeping focus on staying true to oneself is vital.

      Sharing the viewpoint of peace within and happiness is the best way to make a difference. Being tactfully honest with others brings forth great respect in a relationship. If honesty is not well received then it is the other party that has some stuff to sort out, so to speak. Confrontation doesn’t need to be dreadful. It can be a healthy experience. Sometimes though sharing thoughts and emotions can be somewhat uncomfortable for both parties but ultimately the goal is to clear the air.

      I love this sneak peak…can’t wait to hear more about it.

  2. As you get older, and concerns about the future of the planet, and your children’s lives in it, take over your thoughts and actions, I have found that it is counter-productive, and mentally and physically a downer, to get into confrontations. Life is too short. I try to take the high road, and that way I’m not losing time fretting. There is enough to fret about. But, I believe in standing up for yourself, and glad you do that! Women must! My neighbor recently hit my car backing out of her driveway, and though she did the right thing and paid for repairs, I got an earful about parking in the street (which is my legal right to do). I could have let her have it, with a number of complaints of my own, but it just would not have been helpful and I would have been upset all day and then always avoiding seeing her. Since my urban garden is in the front yard, I must do everything I can to be a calm and peaceful neighbor. 🙂 Which is hard to do when your neighbor’s (renting, so not invested in our ‘hood) daughter’s boyfriend zooms up and down the street and stops and pours out their bong water, and tosses their medical marijuana (no doubt illegally obtained) container on the street. They didn’t see me there, digging in the dirt, and I yelled, “Hey!” The driver gunned it with the passenger door still open. “Got your liscense plate number!!” I yelled as they zoomed off. I thought about ratting to the single mom, but, they could retaliate and it wouldn’t be worth it. My old-time neighbor saw the whole thing and he said, in essence, to leave it alone, that these kids would fall into a trap of their own making. Still, driving under the influence of pot could hurt someone else. So, I’m on the fence. – Kaye
    http://www.youtube.com/user/kittrellkaye

    • Yes, confrontation can be a real downer and it isn’t always the best course of action. In this you are correct. I like to think of confrontation not so much as creating a tense situation as it is a way to diffuse whatever is brewing or already in motion. How we take on an issue is key. We can take issue with something without judgement by noting not how it relates to our personal viewpoint but how it affects others – like your situation with the bong-dumping boyfriend. Perhaps an “I would highly appreciate you dumping your sludge elsewhere” to the offender to be more appropriate than ratting out the boyfriend to the mom. Sometimes people are more substantial in character than we give them credit for. Sometimes they aren’t. At least then you aren’t thinking of whether or not something should be said – it already has been. Your anecdote reminds me of Clint Eastwood as the vigilante neighbour. I know what you mean about not making waves due to the fear of retribution though. There is no moral compass installed in some people.

      • Agree, thanks, Melissa! “How we take on an issue is key. We can take issue with something without judgement by noting not how it relates to our personal viewpoint but how it affects others” – Yesterday, I was de-friended on FB because during a PM conversation with an FB friend (someone I’ve never met) I had, I thought, been encouraging, in general, about the notion that one can grow edibles even if they live in an apt. His girlfriend lives in an apt. He took that personally, much to my shock, accused me of being “caustic” and de-friended me, and all our personal conversations, of which there were many over the last year, in fact, he’s been really supportive of “Late Bloomer,” were gone. It’s like it never happened. Except it did, and I was left with feeling bad. Anyway, we must be careful of online associations. But, why take things so personally? Life is short and if someone is passionate about growing food (or whatever) recognize that comments are meant to inspire, not judge. And I will have to tread more lightly with my enthusiasm….

      • Wow! This is a great example of how using a calm and questioning attitude could have cleared up this unclear communication and left both of you feeling that you were heard. Sad, really. I would be feeling bad too, Kaye since that was not your intent nor were your words unkind. Sorry to hear that you had an unpleasant experience in your quest to help others find joy in growing their own food. A healthy and noble pursuit!

  3. I think the pattern of avoiding conflict is one of the worst patterns we can get in to. When nothing is resolved it all begins to build up and there’s no telling when it’ll burst the wall. I agree with you Melissa. You have to discern and know witch battles to pick. but to live on the outskirts of life simply because you’re afraid of confronting stuff is not the way to live. Great post – thank you.

    • Ooo… that’s good Don. “living on the outskirts of life simply because you are afraid of confronting stuff is not the way to live”. That’s exactly how I see it…living on the outskirts. Get in there. Get down and dirty. Be raw in your approach but come at it with kindness and class. There is a way to say things properly and a way to instantly create a defensive stance. Thanks, Don.

  4. I can personally attest that conflict avoidance is soul sucking. But the ones who avoid conflict by denying or invalidating another experience, the passive aggressive bullies out there, they’re even more destructive with their crazy-making behaviour. It seems to me that relationships and emotional wellness shouldn’t be win/lose propositions. As for forgiveness, I’ve been trying to teach my teenager – forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re saying that what someone did was OK. It just means it doesn’t have a hold on you anymore. You aren’t giving them their job back – you’re setting yourself free. Forgiveness, in my opinion, is a healthy sort of apathy. It’s detachment because you have better things to spend your soul on.

    And don’t get me started on people who carry around hard feelings their entire lives and never move past them in any relationship….Oh my goodness people, get help. Seriously.

    • I always find great wealth in your input, my friend. Exchanging ideas with you is always enlightening. 🙂

      Soul sucking is exactly what avoidance is, by both not speaking up or running from responding. In my mind it is sheer wimpiness of character to not make your thoughts known directly. It is really a simple process to just let words out unless you are in a dangerous situation, of course. That goes without saying.

      There are no winners/losers in relationships…ever. That way of thinking only creates negativity. Eesh.

      Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. Breathe…let it go. Ahhh…
      Forgiving someone is freeing yourself of painful emotions. I love the way describe forgiveness. The best part is you not only say it, you live it too. You are a great example of a beautiful Soul.

  5. We are on the same page again! I totally agree with you on these issues but in same cases I notice that their cultural background might influence the way some people are responding to a situation. As for me, I prefer to speak out my mind, in a useful and positive way, and I ABSOLUTELY hate avoidance by any kind!
    Now, I should have written ‘hate’ in this way, I don’t hate anyone and of course I don’t hold grudges – life is too short and there are so many things to do, to visit, to enjoy…. 🙂

    • Incredible! I try not to use the word “hate” either. It is linked with an emotion that carries negativity. No thank you. Sometimes though I catch myself saying it then back up my train of thought to insert the word loathe or dislike instead depending on how much something affects me. Words can be far more powerful than we give them credit.

      Good point. Cultural background would have an influence on learned response. However, if it is someone with whom we know at least somewhat we automatically mimic tone to a certain extent. I find that if I’m speaking with someone whom is open and honest I tend to be as well. Or on the flip-side, conversation with an uptight individual can seem cold or forced at times. Either which way, our approach to confrontation may vary slightly to accommodate personality and differences while still getting the same message through. Thanks for bringing that point forward.

      Life is to learn from and enjoy! Have fun out there. 😀

  6. Oh, how I wish I would have read this as soon as it came into my email! I tend to me one who avoids confrontation and I know exactly why. You said it here: “There is nothing worse than working up the nerve to pour out your thoughts and feelings and have the other person either invalidate what you feel or ignore the issue completely.” This happens all the time with one particular person in my life, and unfortunately, I grew up learning to avoid confrontation because the actual confrontation was so ugly and always backfired completely. I’ve gotten better than I was, but still have a ways to go to be truly balanced.

  7. It’s always deflating to deal with a bully. That’s exactly what it is when someone stomps on another’s feelings or opinions knowingly or repeatedly. We all have differences. Some people are so caught up in trying to force their own they forget that we are all unique. I am glad to hear that you are getting better at speaking up. The more we do, the more self-confident we become. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling or thinking a certain way – be strong in your thoughts and your confidence will hopefully stand tall when speaking with this other individual that obviously rattles you.

    It’s interesting how many people have commented on this post in person. How fitting it is to them right now and how they see themselves in reference to this topic. It’s great to know that this topic has helped others to question and think about how they personally deal with such issues.

  8. Yeah, a healthy combination of pick your battles vs. call people on their sh!t can be hard to find. Some people are lost causes, so don’t bother trying to show them the light, whereas others will continue to trample you if you don’t stand up for yourself and/or ‘the little guy’.

    I don’t know if it’s a particularly Canadian thing, but there’s a huge culture of not rocking the boat and/or being political. I’m just tired of watching Canadians be such sheep about things that affect them. Whatevs! I have enough money to be happy in Europe and blow my horns. 😛

    Nice post LLBG. 🙂

    • Please Duane, don’t hold back – you are such a shy guy. 😉 Seriously though, I have always admired your “tell it like it is in a fun way” personality. I do agree with you that many (although not all) Canadians tend to lean toward being sheeple and follow the crowd to not make waves or stick their neck out too far. I appreciate activism in the name of serious issues myself. A difficult concept for folks such as ourselves with a drive to pull back the curtain on intolerable crap.

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