Saturday, November 29, 2008


I am not good at confrontation.

That is likely a surprise as part of what I do for a living is confront people doing stupid things and tell them to fix it. Maybe I should clarify, I don't like confrontation when I am not in a position of authority. If I don't care what the person thinks of me afterwards and I am not worried about hurting any one's feelings or being tactful, I am a master at it.

In my personal life? Not so much.

I will take something that is bothering me -- some minor offense on some one's part -- and bury it. I will stew about it and possibly talk ad nauseam to other's about it, but I will never bring it up with the person themselves. Because I am a chicken.

For one, I don't do it because I know that if I say it out loud it will be in the most offensive way I could have phrased it. That is why I like email and blogging so much -- I can edit. When my mouth opens, things fall out of it that no matter of thinking beforehand can change. Secondly, I don't want to deal with the consequences of the discussion. I don't want to see the person's face when I say anything. I don't want to deal with hurt feelings or anger or rebuttal.

I am a chicken. Because I am a chicken, I don't often make a stand for what I think or who I believe in. When I do make a stand, my ability to argue disappears. I blabber or sputter. I get angry or embarrassed. I say things like "Oh yeah?" and "So?" as though I am 12 years old again fighting with my brother.

When I do make a stand or bring up a subject of contention, I become a bundle of nerves. My hands are shaking, my heartbeat is racing, my mind is going on a constant loop of what can and will go wrong. My stomach is swirling. I am dizzy and nauseated and vaguely ill at the thought of what I have done. Right or wrong, I react the same way.

Then I doubt what I have done. I think "How can this be the right way?" or "What have I done??" And I want to crawl back into bed to avoid ever thinking about it again.

Even when I know I am right. Even when it is important. Even though I know it will change life as I know it and I'm not sure if it will be for the good or bad.

Maybe I should have handled this the way I do everything. Stew on it for months and then explode over something like an unwashed dish or tripping on a dog leash until I spew out everything that has ever bothered me since the beginning of time.


  1. Confrontation is very difficult for me too, and particularly if I'm confronting someone I know and like/love. It makes me shake and sweat and then I stew over what I said versus what I SHOULD have said or COULD have said for the next week. It's enough to drive you mad! But yeah, sometimes I wish I could just be the grumpy old woman who just blurts out whatever is on her mind. She may be abrupt, but by golly she gets what she wants out of life. :-)

  2. It seems we have a lot in common. Although, usually when I stew and then blow, it's not pretty. Not pretty at all. I would much prefer to deal with the problem right then and there, but that's not usually the case.


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