Thursday, April 17, 2008


I hate confronting people. I will go out of my way to AVOID confronting someone. I realize this is a learned behavior so it can be unlearned. But it is d*mn hard.

Partially, I think it's that I'm not good at reading social cues - or hinting/manipulating. I'm not someone who thinks quickly on their feet. I'm tactless - although thankfully more tactful than my mother. I've been known to beat dead horses (in conversation) - often. I know I've probably offended various readers of this site in the past - without knowing it.

So - in advance, I apologize for any past (or future) offense. I do put my foot in my mouth, often.

I've confronted people in the past. At times the confrontation goes very poorly. Often, since I dread confrontation, I let things go until the situation has gone too far. I become very emotional about it - and can't think clearly. The other person (at times) is either not able to hear me (I mean really hear me) or to respond (for whatever reason). Their feelings are deeply hurt.

In college, I lived with a handful of passive/aggressive people. I wasn't able to confront them about it. The negativity and paranoia set in for me - it was one of the lowest times in my life so far. I had no idea where I stood with these supposed friends. Some might be friends, but I couldn't be sure. For example, one person would ask my roommate for a ride. She would say yes, feeling obligated to drive them. Then, she would complain incessantly about that person and having to drive them somewhere. I started thinking - what if every time I ask this person for something, they say yes and then resent me for it?

Everyone in our circle was fair game for this backstabbing. No one (really) wanted to be honest about their feelings. No one would say "No".

My personal level of paranoia was off the charts. Because I wasn't able to confront her - and was paranoid about her response - she and I are no longer friends. For this reason and other reasons. I don't think she would have ever been honest with me - ever told me how she really felt. If she even knew how she really felt. I would have had to read her mind.

I give this as an example - as I am just as responsible for speaking up for my own hangups. If I don't say something, a person will never know their behavior is NOT OKAY.

Yet in some cases, like one currently with a person I work with -I'm not sure they will ever be able to hear me. Not only is age, intelligence (possibly), tact, mental hangups in the way - we still have to work together. I don't know if they will be able to change - but at least they will know this behavior is not okay around me. Unlike the prior example, this person and I are not friends and I'm perfectly fine with that.

I would much rather stick my head in the sand. I want to ignore the issue. Yet that is a cop out.

I can't keep complaining about something - if I won't do something about it. I need to confront what's going on - or let it go.


Freckle Face Girl said...

I don't think anything I've read here is offensive, but I don't get offended easily. I wish I was a little more like you. I don't avoid confrontation enough. I'll even step in to others fights when I think it isn't going the way it should. My old boss used to call me the lawyer. --bad habit.

Good luck with your co-worker. One nice thing about working from home is that I don't have to deal with those issues anymore.

Aerin said...

Thanks FFG. It sounds odd, but I was referring to specific people IRL who I'm friends with who I also know read this blog. Thanks for wishing me luck - I'm going to need it.