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To make the decision to just avoid confrontation from now on?

(21 Posts)
hollylicious Wed 03-Sep-14 22:49:01

Every time I assert myself or disagree with anyone is ends up with said person not talking to me and falling out with me in a dramatic fashion. I actually hate falling out with people and just want to get on with others, but obviously don't want to be a doormat either. I also always seem to end up taking the flack for other peoples' arguments and drama too.

AIBU to just not get into any confrontational situations in future with anyone?

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 03-Sep-14 22:51:00

Conflict is inevitable, combat is optional.

Are you normally passive and people expect that and get shocked when you assert yourself? Or is everyone you know a bossy arse?

hollylicious Wed 03-Sep-14 22:53:29

I think its a bit of both, MrsTerry.

I am a fairly quiet, passive person, and also I seem to have quite a few bossy dominant friends that want their own way.

Just before the summer holidays one of DS's friends mums threw a strop at me because I said I didn't want to go to the beach when she suggested it...

DoJo Wed 03-Sep-14 22:54:14

Do you only want to be friends with people who cannot handle anyone disagreeing with them or calling them on their behaviour? Because I think that's fine for some, even most of your friends, but it sounds like you are surrounded by people who are pains in the arse!
I have friends who I am less inclined to enter into discussion with about certain things, but I do feel that I am not quite 'myself' with them to some extent (which is fine - it's not really possible to sustain that many really close friendships I find), but I wouldn't like to only have friends that I held back with on certain issues. Friends who you can have a discussion with, disagree with and still respect one another's point of view are an important part of my life too and I wouldn't want to be without them.

hollylicious Wed 03-Sep-14 23:06:51

It's more things like friends speaking to me badly or treating me badly and then throwing an almighty tantrum when I protest

PavlovtheCat Wed 03-Sep-14 23:09:36

If you are normally passive, could it be that when you do assert yourself, you are not very good at it and come across as aggressive instead? It can be a fine line and if normally you are not like it, it might not always come across as you intend?

A suggestion rather than an observation. Something to think about when reflecting on how you conduct your assertiveness.

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 03-Sep-14 23:10:58

They're not friends, are they, if they're like that.
Avoid confrontation by dumping them.

LuvDaMorso Wed 03-Sep-14 23:12:36

Normal people don't have tantrums.

Keep making new friends. You'll eventually find some like-minded people.

You have to "try out" loads of acquaintances to find a few good close friends.

hollylicious Wed 03-Sep-14 23:13:35

In my experience dumping/avoiding someone has also turned into a big drama

crazylady321 Wed 03-Sep-14 23:15:45

I hate confrontation and I avoid it at all costs, im very quiet and anxious person and think people play on that if I ever find the courage. I had to have words with a neighbour the other day and I was crapping myself felt really anxious the rest of the day as kept expecting a fall out from it

ilovesooty Wed 03-Sep-14 23:20:31

It's more healthy to learn how to assert yourself than to spend your life avoiding confrontation. I can recommend "A Woman in Your Own Right" It's really helpful.

CromerSutra Wed 03-Sep-14 23:30:00

Watching this with interest op, I feel exactly the same! I almost never assert myself because I loathe confrontation and on the extremely rare occasions I have the fall out has been horrendous!

CromerSutra Wed 03-Sep-14 23:33:39

Pavlov, that has definitely been the case for me. I have let things build up till I am livid about them before I confront them. Then my reaction is probably viewed a ott!

whois Wed 03-Sep-14 23:51:52

Pavlov, that has definitely been the case for me. I have let things build up till I am livid about them before I confront them. Then my reaction is probably viewed a ott!

Ah the classic 'passive to aggressive' volcano situation. Don't be passive 'fine, we'll go to the beach GRRR' and seethe, it does you no good. And letting all the resentment build up causes a massive volcano like eruption which is aggressive and pisses people off.

Learn to be assertive instead - honestly, most people are too passive and think they are being 'nice'. You'll be happier if you learn to become more assertive. And obviously don't go too far the other way and end up aggressive. Tricky but worth it.

PavlovtheCat Thu 04-Sep-14 00:03:55

yep, assertive is about being in control of how you put across your thoughts and feelings. Neither passive or aggressive (or passive/aggressive) are being in control - one is suppressing, and the other is exploding.

However, often, people do not realise they are being aggressive versus assertive, as I said it is a fine line, and not always clear to us as individuals in the midst of expressing emotional views that we are being aggressive rather than assertive. Leaving things to build up means that even if we think are 'in control' of how we are objecting to a situation or opinion, we may in fact not be, as our resentments project through and come out in what we are saying, in tone, body language, as well as the actual words.

Something like 7% (can't remember the stats exactly) of communication is verbal through words, the rest is body language, tone, pitch and if we are not aware of how those aspects of how we communicate appear to others we are not in control.

For example, an opinion that is assertive can come across as aggressive if your arms are folded (if you have already been feeling annoyed, this defensive stance is one of hostility at the potential aggression or hostility expected in return, it sets it up for negative response).

NoWayYesWay Thu 04-Sep-14 00:04:52

There is rarely any point in confrontation. I tend to quietly let people know what I think if it's important but mostly I just back off confrontation. I don't let people take advantage of me and I don't have friends I would ever argue with. You can be non-confrontational and assertive at the same time.

PavlovtheCat Thu 04-Sep-14 00:05:56

There are lots of cbt courses and workshops online teaching assertiveness and anger management. not suggesting for a moment that you have anger issues OP, but it all goes hand in hand. Anger management is not just about 'how do I learn not to punch someone when I am angry, or shout and scream at people when they get in my way' it's about how to be able to express yourself without being aggressive, or appearing aggressive.

PavlovtheCat Thu 04-Sep-14 00:08:47

noway exactly. If you are assertive from the outset, then confrontation is rarely needed, unless the person who you are having a potential problem with has every intention to have a conflict, in which case, that is not a problem with you, and cannot be avoided no matter how calmly assertive you are. Some people are aggressive in their manner, end of story, and you can only change and consider your own behaviour when handling difficult situations.

I often find if I am passive (sometimes I think it's easier) that conflict is even more unavoidable as the other person(s) become more upset at lack of communication and increases aggression on their part.

Unrealhousewife Thu 04-Sep-14 00:14:28

There was a similar thread recently.

There does seem to be a professionally offended attitude among a lot of people out there with dubious morals. It's very teenage but i see it in a lot of very nicely spoken polite adult people. They do crap things and when you object they do everything they can to convince themselves that you are the problem, not their actions.

A bit like Southampton General Hospital...

hollylicious Thu 04-Sep-14 14:45:16

Unrealhousewife, you have summed up exactly the type of person that I seem to have in my life!

Unrealhousewife Thu 04-Sep-14 15:00:54

Good I'm glad someone understands me! It seems as though people with a nice smiley voice and good communication skills can do the most horrible things but because they are nice, smiley and polite about it, it's OK and you are crazy and unhinged for objecting, even when you do it nicely and politely!

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