7 Tips for dealing with confrontation

Steven Aitchison
Written by Steven Aitchison

A lot of people cannot handle confrontation and start to shake, they lose control of their voice pitch, and they want to hit out and cannot control their thoughts properly. It can be frustrating when someone is putting us down and you can’t argue back as you have got a touch of confrontation jitters. This is the ‘flight or fight’ syndrome kicking in and it pumps adrenaline throughout your body in readiness to kick someone’s arse or in readiness to run away from someone you think might kick your arse. It is your body getting prepared.


Seven tips to deal with confrontation:

  1. Take a deep breath just before the confrontation or during it if necessary. This lowers your heartbeat and blood pressure.
  2. Breathe a little slower, again this lowers your heartbeat and lowers the amount of adrenaline running through your body.
  3. Take 5 minutes, if you can, and quickly rehearse what you are going to say to someone. Make key points of your argument.
  4. Get to know what triggers your anger and prepare a new response to that trigger. By doing this you are aware of the buttons people can push to elicit a certain response. When you know your own triggers it less likely that someone can push the buttons as you are prepared.
  5. Make the person aware of how confrontational they are being. Saying something like ‘why are you shouting at me?’, ‘Why are you being so aggressive’. This turns the energy back on the person and lets them look at themselves for a minute, this might calm them down as a lot of people get lost in the moment and don’t realise they are being aggressive.
  6. Another way is to turn all the attention back on the person you are arguing with. ‘You seem really angry about that!’; ‘You look as if you’re really pissed off?’ Again this can have the same affect of point 5.
  7. Don’t get sucked into their arguments. The purpose of an argument is to manipulate you into losing the argument thereby showing the other person they have won and they are superior. If you don’t get sucked in there is no argument to win, and you come out looking the better person.

There was an incident a few weeks ago just outside my house. I had driven past someone who stayed in our estate and he was walking his dog. He was on the pavement when I drove past and I went through a puddle and soaked his dog. I pulled into the driveway as normal when I heard this guy shouting on me, he walked aggressively down to me and I prepared myself for a confrontation as I hadn’t a clue what had happened I just knew by the way he was walking
he wanted a fight. The conversation went like this

‘You ****ing soaked my dog’, I looked at his dog and suddenly realised I must have went through a puddle. Inside I laughed at the absurdity of this man looking for a fight because some water had gone over his dog. I said

‘Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t realise.’ He didn’t hear me.

‘You F***ing did soak him, you went through a puddle and soaked him.’

‘I said, apologies for soaking your dog I didn’t realise’ repeating what I had said before. His demeanour changed.

‘Well you did and I’m pissed off!’

‘I can see you’re pissed off, but it was an accident’. He started walking away.

‘I’m sorry I was so angry, it’s just it happened last night as well with somebody else.’

‘It’s okay, I understand. See you later.’

I laughed again at the strangeness of someone wanting to fight over a dog getting wet. The strange thing was he was walking his dog in the rain. This shows that different things annoy different people, but it’s easy to deal with their behaviour if you point out how they are behaving.

If all else fails, the nose is a good place to hit first which can temporarily blind them with tears.

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  • First off, I know this comment thread is “old”, but just had to add a comment after reading the above tips.
    As someone who has a tendency to find themselves in somewhat confrontational situations every now and then, for whatever reason, I really don’t agree with a few of these ideas. Trying to turn the blame, so to speak, on the other person….. “why are you yelling at me?” Or “why are you confronting me?”, etc. statements have never worked to calm me down, or any other confrontational person I’ve personally dealt with. On the contrary, this can actually cause the person to become VERY angry, as now they feel they are being blamed for something, on top of already being worked up about the original reasons for the so-called confrontation. Likewise, saying things like “I can see that you are/were very angry about it, but it was just a mistake….”, and other statements like this, while validating the other person’s feelings, completely invalidates at the same time. It sends a general message that the original issue ( the one that drove the person to become “confrontational” in the 1st place) just isn’t important enough to you, and therefore shouldn’t be important enough to the other person to cause any kind of conflict about it, and so it’s completely this person’s fault because they decided to care about this issue.
    My sister tries similar strategies when I confront her on, what I feel is, inappropiate behavior and I find her comments to be condescending, insulting and infuriating. This only causes the confrontation to grow much greater.

  • i have a wife who everytime i ask about anything she has done wrong or anything i suspect she did without my knowledge, she jumps and starts refering to all my past mistakes those that we talked abpout and even sort forgiveness and even concluded, so in the end, i end up looking bad, she looks at my past mistakes to defend herself against my present accusations, how can this be handled

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  • “The purpose of an argument is to manipulate you into losing the argument thereby showing the other person they have won and they are superior.”
    This is kind of silly. The point of an argument is not NECESSARILY to try and win. If there’s a point of dispute in a conversation, as often happens, it can often create more stress NOT to resolve it with an argument, than it can just to “agree to disagree.” SOME people want to argue pedantic, unimportant things which it would be better to agree to, practically. But some just want to resolve disagreements without frustrating them or cutting them off, which can frustrate them. Personally, I am more stressed out and angry when someone says, “look, I don’t want to argue! Stop arguing with me!” as though I am doing something mean to them simply because I disagree or I make it my point to defend what they’ve disagreed with.

  • Hi, first time poster here well i have a problem i could do with advice for, 2 months ago myself and a co-worker were having a cigarette outside at work. We were talking as men do…he asked me if there were any of our female co-workers that i found attractive i said sure there are a couple and named one(i also made the mistake of being vulgar), anyway he then went off and told everyone i could tell they were all talking about me, and still are. One male colleague has since then had it in for me and has gone around telling everyone(except me) that he is going to beat me up, not only is this upsetting but humiliating every day. I have lost all self confidence and feel really isolated at work, i don’t trust anyone now any ideas what i could do? I have spoken to him 1 to 1 several times but he maintains there is no problem, but i have been advised otherwise. I have apologized to the female colleague also, so i am completely at a loss as what to do about it, it is like a mob rules situation for me as everyone closes ranks i am now the devil incarnate. I would leave but there is a training opportunity next year which i am supposed to do i can’t let this problem define my future, it was a mistake and i am truly sorry for it but don’t know how to move on. Also the managers are aware of the situation but can’t or won’t do anything to help.

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  • I’ts great to see so much advise and so many stories i can relate to.
    I have always felt like a coward after this one night. I was sitting on a park bench with a friend smoking, when 3 people (2 boys 1 girl) walked past where we were sitting. All seemed pretty normal, but as they walked away one of the boys turned back and started to walk towards us. He started to insult me in all kinds of ways, i reacted aggresivley however i stayed seated as my fight or flight kicked in, i didnt really know what to do, the last thing i said was ‘why start?’. He then hit me while i was sat down and i immediatley jumped up and tried to fight back, after a struggle the boy had me to the ground, he then took a run up and i turned away knowing what would happen. He kicked me in the back of the head while i was on the ground, after this i knew i couldn’t go on, bleeding, dizzy and humiliated i walked away, my so called ‘friend’ did nothing to help in any way. I have always thought the boy was a coward for hitting me while i was sat down, for kicking me while i was on the ground, but at the ame time i lost, i did nothing and walked away, at the same time i think in some way my friend should have helped, the boy was drunk and had his friend there waiting on the sideline to jump in, so did that exuse my friend from not interveining??

  • Hi,

    My sister an I have always been close. Close to the extent that we feel guilty for not telling the other about stuff that is happening or did happen. Or so I always believed.

    My sister has temper issues, and she blackmails me tremendously. Sometimes, she has actually ratted me out to my mother. For instance, my mother did not know that I smoke. My sister ratted me out when she was angry and consequently, my mother was heart-broken because she expects a lot from me and expects me to be ‘good’ girl.

    Please let me make something clear here. I am 21 years old and my sister is 23.

    I have been on trips with my boyfriend and have had sex with him too. The latest form of blackmail is that she’ll tell my parents about the fact that I am no longer a virgin. They are conventional and they’d be hurt and disappointed. 2 things I cannot bear. Now I start to wonder whether everything that I feel and do for my sister is actually true or perfunctory, because I am too afraid of her blackmailing me. She has literally backed me into a corner.

    At times when she is mad at me she stuffs money in my mouth, hurling accusations like me being miserly when in truth all I told her was to buy her own smokes because I didn’t have a lot of money at that point of time.

    I want to face her, but I don’t want it to lead to a disintegration of my relationship with her and my parents. Rest assured, if I tell her something she does not like, she’ll rat me out to my parents and they’ll never trust me again. And their trust means the world to me. Everything that they would expect from 2 daughters is now expected from me because my sister is very self-centered and is a disappointment. She thinks the world owes her.

    We have all been very understanding of her drug abuse and addiction. She is slowly getting out of it. But I am losing my mind in the process of trying to stay sane. Do I confront her or do I not? And if I do, how do I go about the process knowing the possible consequences?

  • Hi,

    I have read this post and I have to say that I hate confrontation and I get nervous when I think about it, but now that I am older (45), I have absolutely no problem telling anyone off and actually, I quite enjoy it now. When I was little, I used to get bullied by other kids. However, my parents taught me at an early age that if I didn’t stand up for myself in the school yard, I would bullied for the rest of my life. Now, I was brought up in the 70’s, so back then, when any boys or girls teasted me or taunted me either in school or on my block, I would go up to them and punch them in the face or push them. Needless to say, they backed off and never bullied me. When I got older and got bullied by horrible girls as a teenager, I would go right up to the bully and threaten her. Even if she was bigger than me and I thought I would get my ass kicked, it turned out that the bully would back down once the bully knew that I was not afraid of them. Then in my twenties, I started to lose my self-esteem again and feared and even avoided confrontation. Now, it is just the opposite. I cannot hold myself back. If somoene pisses me off or does something I don’t like, I tell them. Most of the time I do it nicely, but if someone does something very rude or offensive, I am not so nice. I don’t care. People need to be accountable for their actions and if their behavior negatively affects or bothers me, they are going to hear it. I value myself and have no problem sticking up for me. It took many years and tears but now anyone who messes with me should watch out. I am like lioness. Now, the only thing I am working on is my anger, because I get so mad, I can let my temper and my mouth run off. So now I am working on calm confrontation without losing my temper. This is a struggle, but I would rather say how I feel instead of kicking myself later saying, “I should have said this….”

  • hi im at my wits end, i have worked in my job for 15 years, and recently have had a new woman start, i showed her ‘the ropes’. and now she has totally taken over, i just feel i am being elbowed out. she is very friendly with all the management…who thinks she is wonderful. if they only knew that she is getting by on a wing and a prayer. when i try to confront her about her snide remarks she makes to me ( when the bosses arent listening) she just backs off. another colleaugue says she loves winding me up. i have tried speaking to management, who are now all just seem to be excluding me and going to ask her for help. what they dont know is she doesnt know how to do the work properly and i have to go and fix her mess. i’d be grateful for any comments, as she is driving me mad

    • I was in my house and my doorbell rang and it was a rude person, and he nastily asked for a donation to spray numbers on my sidewalk to show my address and I told him no. He walked across my reseeded lawn. I went out moments later to ask him for a donation for more grass seeds to reseed my lawn again and to stay off of my lawn. Then he started calling me every four letter word and said do you know how hard I work…. and I told him did he know I reseeded my lawn not too long ago and that he was quite rude. He told me my lawn was trashy and there was no grass there. My family waters our lawn every night and we mow on sundays. So there is no way my lawn is trashy. Ideas of what I can do about him…. did I mention he called me the b word too? and told me I could f myself. Yeah. He screamed this as he was trying to get himself hit by an oncoming car. He was using a spraypaint can and a stencil plate I think is what they are called and had no company truck. I am still angry. no broken noses as the blog said all else fails. :)

  • Where to begin.

    Normally I’m not awful at confrontation; I don’t like it too much but I can hold my own and de-escalate things where needed. However, I still have trouble talking to my Dad about anything of importance.

    It’s probably not anything to do with how he’s handling things, but it completely derails me each time and I’m so sick of talking to him about important stuff (like business, the future, ideas, etc). It’s to the point where I’ve gotten used to avoiding talking to him about things, although I know I should sometimes as he does have experience that I don’t and I do live under his roof (I’m 21, moved out a couple of times, but financially can’t afford my own home right now).

    Take today as an example. Now I’ll admit that I was thoughtless first; I set up a Ltd company to this address without talking it over with him first. Truthfully I was so busy setting up for my launch and organizing people that it slipped my mind – and he was also pretty busy at the time and had forgotten several things I’d told him even by the next day. So I elected to talk to him after his deadline was done and he was a little more normal.

    He came in to check if I could still help with this organization we’re both part of, specifically their website. Discussed this ages ago but nothing ever came of it. I said that I could, but not as much as before then reminded him that I had a business.

    His first response was flippant ‘Don’t we all?’, but then I clarified by saying I was registered. He rapid-fired questions at me (or at least it feels that way) about what it is (hard to quantify, I have a great many pies because of what I’m trained in), whether I’d registered for self assessment (not quite, because there was some confusion around it and I hadn’t made the call), how much I expect to be making, etc. Interspersed with a ton of ‘facts’ that left me shaken, such as my auditing for this year was going to cost me £300 to get a professional to do it.

    Since he’d latched onto the freelancing part I interjected and mentioned that I was also starting a membership site. More questions. Then he asked how much I was going to be charging (without knowing more than the very basics about the site), and when I responded I got a sarcastic ‘Good luck’ followed by ‘That seems a little steep’.

    To be clear, I’ve been researching for months. I’m a couple of weeks away from launch. The price looks mostly fine to me considering the amount of people I have working on it and providing content – people by the way that are successful and have been in the business for years. Decades. Some even published. (Note – It’s a writing membership site with articles and a forum to encourage community, idea being to help people finish their stories)

    While knowing very little he made broad sweeping comments that, inadvertently or not, cut and messed up my productivity for after. He then got back to his original reason for coming into my room / office and disturbing me, confirmed that I could help with the site but not as much, and said we’d discuss the rest later. Left.

    This happens whenever I have something new I want to try, or an idea I think might work, or I make a choice he wouldn’t have made. Every time. There’s always the implication that I haven’t thought it through enough, I’m an idiot, and it’s never going to work.

    The real kicker is that I don’t even bring it to his attention until I’ve had a LOT of time to research, test, work through, talk to other people, etc. But no. I didn’t talk to him so its not valid.

    Whenever these happen I’m really bad at explaining what I’m doing (which I’m sure only adds to his assumptions that I don’t know what I’m doing), I get really angry, and then I crash and want to cry. It messes me up for hours, or the rest of the day, afterwards.

    And I’ve explained that to him before. Clearly. Through email, because that’s the only way I can make sure I get everything down and in order without missing stuff. No change of course.

    I’m really bad at keeping him in the loop and I accept that, I do try hard to communicate more, but the fact is it hurts every single time. Maybe if I was better at it that would be different.

  • Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in truth used to be a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

  • Hi I would like to add my experiences. Growing up in a family where my dad drank and was abusive mostly to my mom. My mom eventually turning into this super sensitive person got just as aggressive and also she is always being used and under appreciated and cannot take criticism – although she can criticize me on every level at any time. Now I am 42 and married to a guy who ‘s every 2nd response is a confrontational, accusive one and I live in the same house with both of them. My way of dealing with them is listen, say as little as possible and control my actual feeling of wanting to just tell them to bugger off..Both of them are happy as long as I say yes to everything and take their sometimes not so veiled insults. My complains he ‘s a brute and has no manners or regard for anyone .. he complains abt well anything when the mood takes him..neither tell each other how they feel ..and both dictate my next action to me. I always told myself that I did want to be like my parents always fighting and insulting each other..but honestly sometimes I just have no idea what to do or say to them so I just go on like nothing’s happened although I feel like I’m dying inside.I tried confronting them abt their behaviour towards me over the years but they always come back at me with the same story that I am defensive and I am too quick or I misunderstand /misread the situation or I should say what the problem is – which I’ve tried only to be targeted what to do.

  • My fiance’s family has always bullied me and put me down, even more so after their mother passed away and my fiance bought the house so that the bank wouldn’t take it, after which, my fiance and I moved in.

    It’s weird because I have never said or done a horrible thing to them, ever.

    I just think that they are mean pple. His older brother, who’s adopted, ran over the family cat, twice, apparently by accident. The second time it was hit, it had to be put down. It is my belief that his older brother, who’s first name is Peter, is fricken mean because he has issues with his real parents, who gave him up for adoption when he was a baby.

    The worst I have ever been treated was after I was hit by a car, he was studying nursing at the time and he told me that he had been given some bandages and dressings from another nurse at the hospital where he was working. He had said that he told this nurse how I had been hit by a car and that she had decided that I should have the clean bandages and dressings to cover the gaping laceration on my leg.

    After I used the bandages and dressings and my leg had healed he asked for the bandages and dressings back….buuut I had used them, wtf. He than said that it was ok if I was concealing them or trying to steal them he just wanted them back, I replied ” if you didn’t want me to use them you shouldn’t have given them to me in the first place”

    “He replied, get back here!” the entire confrontation took place in the living room, I didn’t want to argue, my heart started beating really fast, like a rabbit on the proverbial chopping block. I walked outside, So he than started YELLING at me out the front of the house, telling me how “if I wanted to be treated with respect than I would have to treat others with respect first!!!”….but he was the one who initiated the confrontation in the first place. My fiance’s family has initiated the confrontation, they make ‘comments’ about the music I listen to. The Films that I watch, they would even made fun of me because my study would get messy when I had Uni assignments…they are mean.

    He later told my fiance that “we could have “both” handled the situation better” but he was the aggressor. I think I am a passive person, if I was aggressive I would have, in the very least, tried to stand up for myself, I feel the need to justify myself because I am afraid that no one will believe me, because my fiance never believes me. ” I told him many times how his family was treating me badly and he responded ” well, what do you want me to do about it? As though it wasn’t his issue too.

    My fiance was right there when it happened, and he said nothing. I actually had to leave the house, this happened at night time. I left the house and went to a fast food place to sit down and just get away from the abuse. I remember trying not to cry in the out door eating area…. I remember getting a phone call from my fiance, him meeting me at the fast food place, when I spoke to him he said that “I shouldn’t have left” I responded, ” what was I supposed to do, allow myself to be abused by your family? ”

    Aside from the yelling incident they always made sure that they’d gang up on me when my fiance wasn’t there, so they could bully me.

    Now, I don’t speak to his family, I really dislike them. I don’t understand why they hate me, I don’t think I care.

    I still resent by fiance for allowing his family to treat me like they did, I resent him more because, to this day, if I make a comment about his family being mean he will actually tell me that “he doesn’t care and that he doesn’t want to hear about it”. Even after 12 years together, he still stands up for them, even if he refuses to believe it.

    I sometimes feel as though I should just give them what they want and leave my partner, they never liked me and at least than I wouldn’t have a permanent reminder of the betrayal I received at the non-committal way that my partner goes about handling the issues his family appears to have when it comes to common decency and social etiquette.

    The thing that sucks the most is that I think I resent myself more for allowing them to bully me, for not growing a fricken backbone…

    What should I do, is congealed, infected, nasty blood always thicker than water?

  • It’s comforting to know that other people are having and dealing with this problem . I also suffer from confrontation issues . I have a tendancy to replay previous encounters over and over again in my head . It’s usually worse when I’m sleeping and some issues are years old . Can be quite stressful . I eventually went to my GP and got prescribed some mild tranquilizers which help a bit . Saying that I am quite a nervous person generally which doesn’t help .

  • I have had problems with a colleague for over two years. Her behaviour towards me has been vile. This was during a time that my mother was in a hospice and ultimately passed away.
    I eventually confronted her last week and I was totally assertive. It caught her on the hop and she became quite aggressive, blaming one of my friends. I managed to stay calm, therefore, as a result she was made to look how I have felt.
    Incidentally, she told me that it wasn’t me she had a problem with, it was my husband (who I know has absolutely no social skills), and she had no answer for why she couldn’t tell me – she merely tried to defend herself and let me leave her laughing as she has always tried to make me feel I had a problem, yet it is her problem.
    As we are both teachers, I cannot understand how she can stand in front of children and tell them not to bully, when she is one herself and has now admitted to it.

  • I was confronted by a coworker in my cubicle and she accused me of spreading rumors about her which were not true. Her actions were voice were aggressive
    she was pointing her finger at me. I told her to leave but she would not, I really felt threatened so I screamed for help. I now my get in trouble for screaming in the office. Unbelievable. What would you have done.

  • It’s nice to know that other people have this problem and can share their experiences on here . I’m having some issues with my neighbours and confontation isn’t my strong point . One of them tried to bully me verbally and he pushed me to the point that I eventually told him to “F off” . He hasn’t done it since . Saying that I also suffer from the usual wishing that I’d done or said something differently . Even months or years after certain events I still find myself lying in bed or dreaming about things that I wish I’d done . I don’t know if I can change this aspect of myself as I am quite a nervous (never used to be) person . Confrontation certainly doesn’t help my condition . I eventually went to see the doctor and was given some mild sedatives which help a bit . Saying that I do wish sometimes that I was a real “bad ass” ass kicker just for a day as there’s a few people around here that really need it :) I know it wouldn’t help matters but all I want is one day ! :) Sammy

  • I liked the article, specially the way it ends!!! LOL.
    Seriously, the information given in this article, is not very far away of how we should behave in a situations like the ones described in the article, but somehow we get soo lost in anger that it make us loose every sign of control, and typically when it happens the outcome of the situation is not good at all.

  • hi i have a very big problem. i am getting bullied by my boss at work i hate confronatation and yet he always manages to confront me at the wrong moment i cant say anything to him and he just humiliates me in front of all of my work collegues. the other thing is my ‘supposed best friend’ is his girlfriend so i feel i cant say what i really think incase i offend her aswell! but surely if she was a real friend she wouldnt let him do the things he does! i get called fat, or c**t on a daily basis in front of customers and staff and that get shouted out for not doing my job properly. most days i come home in tears, my husband is just like me dosent like confrontation so he hasnt been much help. i really need to know how to stand up to him without losing my cool and stay calm and not have the usual andrenaline rush that makes me want to cry. i need the courage to stand up to him in a proffessional manner, deep down i want to grab his head and smack it against the wall as hard i can followed by the words “stick you job at your arse, your not worth my time, cock!” i of corse would never do this in real life but one can dream! what should i do please help!

    • First of all Steve, thank you for this post, I was looking for general tips on how to deal with confrontation but it has also generated a lot of conversation and stories.

      To Steph: I have been dealing with a jerk boss also which is part of the reason I started this search, but your story kind of struck a chord in me. I don’t know how large your office is or what the atmosphere is like, but it is certainly not ok for anyone to call you fat or a cunt, or humiliate you. Period. If you are a decent employee (not that that would excuse the language) that does not generally have problems with people, then it is entirely your boss. The next time it happens, go calm down (I would probably take a few minutes in the bathroom to cry, but that’s something I am trying to deal with) think about what you want to say, and if your boss doesn’t call you in to talk about what happened, then request to talk to him. Say, “I think it was very unprofessional they way you (insert whatever here)” Clearly state which parts of the confrontation you feel he was wrong in, even if it makes you nervous. There is no reason for name calling ever, but especially in a work place. You do not have to go through the girlfriend, although if she is really your best friend you should at least be allowed to tell her how it makes you feel, even if its not in order to get her to do something about it. If nothing changes, and you might have to do this a few times to show that you do NOT find it ok, report his ass to HR if you have one.

  • GUys anyone have similar issues as myself? I am absolutely terrified of confrontation and fighting, even if i pass a couple of cheeky 10 year olds i start to panic. I dont know where it stems from but its a huge embarrassment for me as im 6 ft1 and 19 stone and people think im some kind of tough guy due to my size. But this is not the case! If i inadvertently offend someone i am literally terrified at possible confrontation. Please help as you guys are the only people i can talk to. I walked a friend home in the early hours of saturday morning i hadnt seen her for a while so i walked her home and we chatted and nothing happened, i walked home and when i got up in the morning i was really scared that the boyfriend would think we had sex and want to fight me..If someone knocks my door i get panicky. But when i am in work or my local im fine, but if someone is even fighting 100 yards from me i get panicky HELP HELP HELP, and if you cant help please point me in the right direction!!!!!

  • I figured out yesterday that when I get confronted by my bro I loose my mind or somethin. My head gets all messed up and I feel like doin alot of crazy things like hurting him real bad or eavin killing him. Now he;s throwing threats at me, that I don’t take serious and just walk away from before things start escalating and all that, but the next time it happens I really think we’re are goin to fight because I hate it when he feels like I have to shut up and give him “respect” because he’s older. I do. I know I do. But if he;s goin to throw uneccesary mean words at me I dont think I have to stay quiet about that. Right? Do I need help? I tried hitting my other brother with a chair ones if it wasn’t for my mom… I dunno. I hope to get a reply.

    • marissa…this has to stop in terms of your brother…you guys have to get into see a doc and work this cannot do this by yourself and he can’t either…

      i just wanted to shove a pencil up a bimbos nose recently..but this is more serious…

  • Steven, thank you for posting this information. It is very helpful and useful.
    Frankly, I am the person who mostly stays away from any possible confrontation. Confrontation is being my main concern when I communicate with people. I think it comes from my culture and background.
    Being raised within communism rules that forced people to live, speak and act the same, it was hard and in most cases impossible to develop your own identity. I didn’t have freedom to become an open-minded and fearless to say things that I wanted to believe in. As a result of it, people, including myself, don’t know how to handle a situation, in which people don’t share the same beliefs.

    I have never thought about it until I started working on my master degree in business. Then, I have realized the importance of developing a new skill that is called “dealing with a confrontation”. It affects my professional life as well as personal.
    So, thank you again!

    • remember these are depressed people there not well…don’t get sucked in to their negativity..i’ve been down this road..just recently opened a coffee shop near me came out and said get your duncan donuts cups out of my garbage can…i said what? that can has been there for over 30 years…
      she got in my face and said you wanna start with me? i don’t know what came over but i said first of all its 6:30 in the morning and i’m not going to have this conversation because i’m preparing for a meeting and also have you ever had a 48 year old woman shove her gucci pump up your butt??? wanna try it? she ran away from me…i was a little misty eyed
      because i said is this what we’ve become? now she says good morning and waves when i’m in the parking lot…..that’s why i’m reading and responding to all these articles…you must get the leech off of you…LOLOLOLOLOL

      • my previous comment i mean’t a woman just opened a coffee shop recently and came after me to go in the garbage can and get my dirty cups….

  • I am wondering how to deal with an abusive Daughter who uses her Daughter as the Control weapon. I cannnot have a civil conversation with her , If you disagree about anything or say that you don’t think she is being fair about something end of conversation. She uses my grandaughter as a control weapon with the whole Family and friends, so if you say or do something she doesn’t like you do not get to see the Child. Personally I do not care what my Daughter says or does , My only concern is for my Grandaughter, I don’t give a shit about the control freak her mother. Basically who ever kisses her _ss and agree’s with her warped mind are the ones who get to see the child. How does a person deal with this ???

    • nothing to stand up for…stop harrassing me or you’ll be wearing this ice coffee i just bought…

      i’m making it more of joke..but they to get the message that you will not be bullied or abused by this person…its their unhappiness not yours-i’ve said this already…the more you try to work it out the more they’ll stick it to they need to go and bug somebody else.

  • I am terrified of all types of confrontation. I do not know how to stand up for myself. People walk all over me, from public yelling, taking advantage and not paying me money they owe, speaking to me in a disrespectful manner. I feel powerless and stay quiet. There is a bully who has been dating my older brother for several years. We were friends before they started dating but then she started taking any and every opportunity to tell me what a bad, selfish, ungrateful, immature person I am. Since then I made a decision to avoid her at all costs, which was difficult when my brother practically had her move into my family home. I figured that if I’m going to be treated like I’m an awful person I may as well behave like one, so I began getting very bitchy and childish. Then I moved out of the house and stayed with my fiance to avoid the ugliness. I apologised and she wanted to be “friends” but I declined, having been in enough poisonous relationships. I still have to put uo with her at family gatherings but at my wedding a few months ago, I did not invite her. My logic was that my wedding is about me and I don’t want to have to tip toe on eggshells and feel that burning gut, dry mouth, ear ringing fear I get in her presence. It was a small wedding, with under 60 guests and I had to leave off many of my good friends from the guest list, so it wasn’t a huge event I could lose her in. My brother then said he wouldn’t come. After many tearful nights and self loathing for being so soft, I gave in, but I wrote my brother a LONG letter explaining my feelings. He arrived late, alone, and left early.
    I’m seen by many people as petty and bitchy for not wanting her there. But that was ONE single time I’ve stood up for myself, and wasn’t the “bigger person” to give in. Every other day of my life I give in to other people.
    I even find it hard to talk to my husband, because if I criticise him I get snapped at, so I stay quiet, and in a couple minutes forget about it. But then the next time it happens I hate myself for not letting him know it’s not okay. I feel weak, permanently smiling and acquiescing to people who treat me badly.
    I need help, because self loathing is not healthy, nor is losing people’s respect because I always let everyone get off easy.

    • I know how you feel. And I think great advice is first of all not to give a f* about what ppl think of you. If you know you stood up for yourself and ppl are calling you a bitch for it, then so be it. You know why you did it and that’s all that counts, you did it for you not for them. It took me a while to learn this but I did and anytime when it happens that someone happens to walk over me I learn from what happen and think about what I can do from not making it happen again. A good thing to do is to challenge yourself. So when you critisize your husband and he snaps try snapping back! See what happens when you say the one or the other. If you don’t do it now, one day you are going to explode. Know this: Anger needs to come out evry now and then. If you hold it in it builds up and maybe might come out when it;s a very bad moment for it too. Hope in SOME way i helped you, because I know the feeling and it sucks.

  • “If all else fails, the nose is a good place to hit first which can temporarily blind them with tears.”

    That is hilarious.

    Good points throughout though.

    Might add not to make the other person feel like you think they are completely wrong. Makes it into a fierce personal battle.

  • Just had a confrontation that’s why I found this site. A man and woman who live near just accused me of reporting them to social services. Told them I didn’t even know they had kids. I kept completely calm although my adrenalin was raised slightly. I’ve been training myself for years to calm down as I used to get into a lot of fights.

    The strange thing is because I didn’t get angry and wound up and start laying into them like I might of done some years ago (the man at least) I felt a little flight reaction. It’s not a good feeling I know underneath all anger is fear but anger covers it up so well. Keeping calm doesn’t seem to for me lol. I wan’t to be able to reamain calm but also have very little fear.

    I always control my breathing fairly well and I get into a subtle fight stance i’m always aware of what’s going on around me, but this flight feeling is a real danger. It makes you half hearted.

    I read someone post that says he wants to start martial arts. It helps having confidence in yourself physically and martial arts can help mentally a little aswell, but 95% of fighting/confrontation is mental and you have to learn how to deal with the fear in your head first and foremost. Trust me most martial arts don’t go down the mental route half enough. Not to say they don’t help they really do, but if you find a meditation or technique that gets rid of 99.9% of fear please tell me! lol

  • Different people may handle confrontation differently. My first reaction is to always shy away from getting angry. I’ve seen the destructiveness of getting angry and losing temper in my life enough to know that isn’t where I want to go.

    I think another good way to handle it is to plan for what you will do when it happens. Don’t plan at the time of the confrontation – just like anything in life if you are prepared before hand, you’ll have a much greater chance of success.

    And lastly, I am married as are you – confrontation in marriage is another killer if not handled properly. I make sure to talk to my wife about how we should handle stressful situations (an out of control child, bad news, money decisions, etc…). In a nutshell, we ask questions first and always take time to examine situations before letting emotion dictate the situation.
    .-= Jeremy Johnson´s last blog ..Introducing The First Wizard, Lisa Irby =-.

  • Ha! That’s classic… the weirdest thing to deal with is someone irate at you for a reason you’re clueless about. Happened to me at work where I was a webmaster for a Microsoft training company. He came into my office screaming about if I take away his job, something, something… and kept getting louder. I sat there and tried to figure it out. He was a big guy, but I didn’t think we’d be physically fighting over it – he was off-the-scale enraged though. Other employees came in and pulled him out of the room. What happened? I still don’t know, our company had a “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t mention things that go wrong” policy. Lol. I think it had something to do with me taking away some of his sales because customers were now ordering online through our ecommerce sites I just built. What set him off, I haven’t a clue.

    The best policy I’ve found in dealing with confrontation is to be super calm and just listen at what someone is upset about first. Usually they’re not narrowing it down into the 1-2 things that matter to them, and they’re all over the map with emotional outrage. If you can isolate the one thing wrong, two things wrong – and address them, you might find you agree…

    Almost all arguments start out like this… one person is emotional, gets the other emotional – and then both are unable to listen and isolate the true cause. They might be furious at each other for no reason. Happens often!
    .-= Vern´s last blog ..Buying Houses on Active Volcanos =-.

  • i have thiz music teacher at school and he proper shouted at me today for such an unjustified reason.
    his asked me to come and play drums for the orchestra, firstly i dont even play drums! , let alone read drum score and have never played in an orchestra in my life!, i just jam out in my bedroom!
    so anyway i turn up and the first 20 mins goes quite well, he can see that im not sure with the transfers in the piece of music so he starts off running through the changes whcih is pleasent off him. but when i dont get it right next time, he totally flips!, like hitting the white board behind him , seriously this guy needs to be put in his place, meanwhile everyone else is just watching as my heart beat triples the speed of this lousy piece of swing.
    he continues to raise his voice at me throughout the session.
    at the end i was totally pissed off and ready to rip this arrogant, worthless piece of s**t’s head off. but just left quitely (you can tell im the non confrontational type :p)

    So yeh tomorow i plan to put this guy in his place, he probs wont even take note of what i say cos his heads so far up his own arse but heyy, ill give it a shot.

  • There is an excellent method for communicating during confrontation known as the S.E.T. process. S.E.T. was developed by clinical psychologists for communicating effectively with people who are in crisis or are irrational. I’ve used this method in clinical and personal settings, and it is very effective. You can read about it at

    Many of us are conflict averse, but when we learn how to manage our own emotional states, establish and maintain boundaries, and communicate effectively difficult situations we can gain the confidence to deal with them in an assertive and effective way.
    .-= Chris Akins´s last blog ..7 secrets of self-motivation =-.

  • Hi AJ

    Your note of being assertive is totally valid; But I am absolutely astounded by someone assumed to be a Catholic Christian can use the words “Jesus” and “Pussy” in the same sentence.

    there’s some confrontation for you.


    PS! For those that did not read AJ’s post yet just search for “Pussy” on this page!

  • Tonight I had a confrontation: I was eating at a restaurant outside. A man pulls up in an SUV with his lights shining directly on my table, just 3 feet away. He sat there for over ten minutes talking on the phone without turning his lights off. I made eye contact with him several times hoping he would get the hint and turn off the lights, but never did. When he finally got out and passed by the table into the restaurant, he casually said, “sorry ’bout the lights’. Normally I avoid confrontations because I get shakey, but I felt like I should speak my mind. So I said, “You could have turned your lights off”. He immediately snapped back angrily, “WHAT???” So I repeated myself, still remaining somewhat calm. His reply was “I SAID I WAS SORRY! CAN’T YOU TAKE AN APOLOGY!!??” (he still had his cell phone to his ear). I said something to him about sitting there for 10 minutes with his lights on. At this point I was beginning to feel the pains of confrontation. He said something else which I can’t remember clearly. Then he rolled his eyes and went inside.

    I looked down at my hands and they were shaking! I want to understand this reaction I have to confrontation and learn how to deal with it. I usually try to avoid these situations, but then I feel bad about myself for not standing up when I feel I am right. What training is out there to help deal with these situations. I kept repeating the situation over and over on the way home. I think I would like to encounter more to get used to feelings and learn how to deal with it.

    Thanks for this forum. It’s good to be able to vent and find suggestions for help.

  • Hi. I hate confrontations too. I have such a problem with my anger. It used to be too little, now its way too much. Just this morning I was enjoying a lovely morning with my two year old and this womans black cocker spaniel comes running by. My son gets all excited and wants to pet the puppy. the woman is at least 50 behind, but when she catches up, she says ‘He might bite.’ I scoop my son up and as she passes me she looks away from, out into the distance, and says with such attitude, like she’s trying to school me, ‘You don’t know that dog. He could turn on you.’ Taken aback by her manner, I had been quite peaceful, it took me a while to think to say ‘Then your dog should be on a leash.’ It started an argument, and she basically she said she was trying to help me raise my son right — by not chasing strange dogs. I found this comment so incredibly inciteful it was all i could do not to bust her face open. I’ve been arrested for this before, learned my lesson. anyway i thought of a hundred things i could have said. none of which would have been any better way to handle this. i mean how dare she walk by a kids park with her dog not on a lead, then claim he might bite and then call ME a bad parent. it really did ruin my morning. don’t know what i could have done differently. some will say i shouldn’t let me kid chase dogs. Noted. But she still should have had hers on a leash. At least we have somewhere to vent the fiery rage.

  • I work at an apt complex and this Puerto Rican Woman had been having trouble wuth her refrigerator leaking, maintenance had been over a few times, etc, and this was ten minutes until closing(which doesn’t matter to me, I leaver when work is done). She called and screamed about the horrible embarassment when she came home from work and there was some water on the floor. I put her on hold, called the maintenance tech. He said we have to just swap her refrigertor out and give her one that is in a vacant unit. He was finishing up a no ac call and said tell her to give me five minutes to finish up and he would be over. In the meantime I had to go make sure we had a refrigerator. She started cursing and screaming b/c she wanted me to stay on the phone until the maintenance guy got to her apt and THEN she needed me to call her with a status after that. I told her I had to locate a fridge right now and the tech would be over with it. She was cursing f-ing b, mther f-er. I told her I was not listening to her any longer and hung up. She came in to the office and went crazy, asying everytime she sees me in the office, I hurry her along and always “jittery, she repeated that over and over. I told her she could not be in the office and act like that. My mgr and the tech had to physically pull her out of my office into the package room. Seriously she will probably kill someone someday. She needs mental help. I told my boss, “she acted like she discovered America with the “she’s jittery thing” . I need to never have caffiene, but always moving and doing and upbeat. She has more serious issues that water on her floor……..

  • In regards to the wet dog situation. I am the world’s worst in holding back my laughter in front of somebody. I probably would have said to the man, he needed a d— shower anyway,sorry dog stinks like his master.

  • you were not wrong for what happened but you added to the mix by calling them girls bitches. Next time wait until you leave to add oil to the fire.,

  • I had a not so nice confrontation about two weeks ago. I was on my lunch break from work and going to a local dollar store to pick up some detergent that was on sale. Well the buggies are outside the store so I grabbed my buggy and went to the entrance. Now picture this, the doors don’t open automatically you have to open them yourself. So I’m on the phone with my boyfriend holding the door open pulling the buggy in behind me when these two women walk up together with their children. Well I get my buggy in the door ahead of me when one of the womens little girl comes up right behind me and I was gonna hold the door open for her. I saw the girl reach up for the door to grab it so I let go to turn around and get my buggy and get out of everyones way and go on about my business. The next thing I hear is “Mame” and I ignore it thinking it was another customer asking me where something was which isn’t unusual when I am out in my work uniform. Then the “Mame” had gotten very loud and was right behind me and I turned around. It was the mother of the daughter talking to me. And it wasn’t in a soft voice she started saying this. She started telling me that I let that door hit her girl in the head pointing to her daughter. And I said no I was holding the door open for your daughter. Then she and her friend both started getting very loud with me telling me no I let that door hit her daughter, and again I said no I was trying to hold it open for your daughter, then they started getting loud and people was looking. So I told her I was sorry I held the door open for her daughter and it hit her in the head and I turned around and walked off and my boyfriend who I was on the phone with asked me what had happened and I started the conversation off with him “This b*tch” and told him what happened. Well the two women heard me and again at the register we had another confrontation because they over heard what I said. I’m sorry I was defending myself from them. I’m not gonna let someone get in my face and yell out me and have everyone look at me like I did that on purpose. I didn’t even know the door hit the girl even if it really did. So the last thing of out of our confrontation at the register was the other woman calling me a wh*re and I yelled back at her b*tch. Now I have both women coming up to my job making faces at me and trying to get me fired, which isn’t working. But I don’t know what to do!

  • Hi,

    I’ve just had a confrontation of my own. I’m usually a fairly relaxed person, and get on well with everyone i know. Today i was in the lab (PhD student) and i noticed someone in the post grad room that i have never seen before. I’m in the lab and post-grad room everyday for most of the day and i had never seen this person before. the room was pretty empty, it being a saturday, so he really stood out as not being normal. I went over to him and excused myself and asked who he was. He said he was a part time PhD student and wasn’t in the lab very often. I asked who his supervisor was and he told me it was one of the lecturers from the department so i let it go. About 5 mins later he came over and said that he was offended that i asked who he was, and that i should watch myself in the future. Fair enough, I may have offended him, but when he said i should watch myself i instantly got that adrenaline rush of confrontation! i stood up and said excuse me, as i wanted to be sure of the threat. I could feel the anger in this guys voice and sensed that he wanted this to go further. I could have easily said, “or what?” when threatened, but i calmly told him that i have never seen him before and that there has been theives in the area in the last week. I’m happy that i didn’t escalate the confrontation and was the bigger man by not taking the bait. I even was able to wish him good day as he left, although this may have been tinged with sarcasm!

  • Hi,
    I would like to add my experience for what it is worth. I work in construction and take confrontational situations as a daily occurance – sometimes Im the one trying to wind them up and more than often, vice versa. One thing I have learned is that the person who loses their cool, has lost. Often one can be shouting back and forth, because this may be the only method of communication the person understands, but that doesn’t mean that I lose my cool, because outside of losing control of your thoughts, it can be very physically draining. One key thing is your state of mind going into it, a second is knowing what outcome you want coming out of it, and a third is what you say to yourself during it. Its not life or death either way, but I sometimes think of a line I once saw from a jewish concentration camp prisoner where perhaps this was more applicable, and where dominance and control are intentional motives, who used to tell himself that no matter how bad the beating, one thing they could never change was his attitude. I don’t always get it right, but I reckon that what doesn’t kill me, shall make me stronger. Hope this helps.

  • HI,
    I was involved in an incident today at the store. Going to look at suits, so was she but I didn’t realize that at first. It looked to me like she was waiting for me to move so I was trying to be polite and I told her that I was going right there (meaning I had walked up to the section that I wanted to look in and wasn’t just passing through the aisle). I was really shocked by the way that she responded. She raised her voice and started saying that I had told her to move and who did I think I was, and I tried at least five or six times to tell her that no, I hadn’t told her to move, that I was trying to be polite, that she had taken it wrong, that I was just there to look at suits for my husband and she kept telling me that I was not polite. So then she said, fine we’ll both just stay like this all day, and I said fine with me, I was right where I wanted to be (evidently I was right where SHE wanted to be and I guess that was the whole problem). I continued looking at the suits and put a couple in my cart and evidently she was still fuming because then she started making comments to her male companion, that I didn’t know who I started with and that I didn’t know who I was messing with to which I responded yet again that I was only trying to be polite (which I was). She went on and on about me not knowing who I was messing with and then she made a comment to her male friend that the devil was out today and then either she or he said something to the effect of as long as she didn’t pull my hair out and that’s when I really started to feel threatened, the situation felt like it was escalating and I decided that I needed to call my husband. I took my phone out and she (or he I really just couldn’t distinguish between the two of them talking at that point) said oh look, now she’s going to call someone, and I dialed and the two of them must have continued to yell at me because when my husband answered the phone he must have heard them yelling because he asked me if I was alright and if I wanted him to come where I was and did I want him to call the police before I even had a chance to say hello to him. I told him that yes, I wanted him to come there, and maybe calling the police would be a good idea and then she said that there was no need to call the police, that she was officer (last name) and that there was no need to call them, that they all knew her. I told my husband to call them please. By this time one of the store clerks had come back to see what was going on and she was still yelling, telling her that I had told her to move and I don’t even remember what all else. By this time I felt threatened, I didn’t want to get beat up by this woman and her companion (and how ridiculous to have to worry about that) and I told the clerk that the police were on the way. The clerk had her manager come back and the police must have called the store because she stood there on the phone and said, no there’s no need for you to come here, you don’t need to come here (possibly the manager and this woman were friends), so I called 911 and told them that my husband had called them and that they certainly did need to come there, that I was scared, that I was in fear for my safety and that I felt threatened.
    I just can’t believe that this all happened. Turns out this woman is a probation or parole officer in town (I don’t remember which). The officer told me where she worked out of and did I want to contact her supervisor. I really don’t want to get this woman in trouble, either she was just having a bad day or she’s always confrontational like that, but either way, I almost feel sorry for her, from my perspective it sure must suck to be her. So do you think it would be a good idea to follow through with her supervisor? I’m not sure what outcome I would expect or even want, but I felt unsafe and shouldn’t have to feel threatened when I’m just out having a nice time shopping.

    • Hi Amy, her behaviour was out of line and she knew that by working for the government she was abusing her authority but sadly this is not authority but abuse in a public place and that she obviously has a bad way of dealing with ´bad days´we can always think that it was a bad day but how many more people will have bad days with her that affect her as much as affected you and even more. These kind of people have to be reported so that they learn social skills and that the people that they work with specially the vulnerable ones are protected from this bullying. I would speak to her supervisor and explain the situation. most of the time nothing much happens but sometimes, several reports make a file and then an investigation. This is how abussive people at work are caught! I hope you are well and please do not feel guilty as she really got vicious with you and that is not acceptable.

  • Carol don’t have time to say much but these two points.

    *Learn to be more assertive, there are some good websites on it.
    *Being Christian does not mean that you have to be ‘nice’. There is a misconception in the world today that the only way to be charitable is to be the nice guy! As a Catholic it is expected of me to stand up for my beliefs until death – we are not ‘nice’, people need to hear the truth sometimes, the truth is charity, the truth with tact anyway. Jesus was not some pussy hippie like most christian sects portray Him as today! He was not aggressive, he was kind with a heart but assertive. He was a man! However obviously we as mere humans will encounter difficulties such that you have, we can only learn how to deal with them better.

    Life sounds tough for you right now, hang in there I will say a prayer for you, God Bless.

    • they will sandbag you even being a good Christian..there is nothing unheathly by saying if you come near one more time…i will shove this pen right up your nose…

      they gotta go before you get sucked in..these are miserable people that need help — don’t fall into it.

      • Madge, sounds like you’re the one in need of help. Have you thought about anger management or about seeing a psychiatrist? I hope you get better soon.

    • Hi All. Very enlightening responses,i greatly appreciate this. What i’ve noticed about myself is that,the many times i am confronted with an argument and a bully is when I am on my low spiritually. When I am tuned in to the Spirit,it’s easy to diffuse it all and how,i never really know but it gets extinguished immediately.
      There are times I find myself swearing and i will say something that will make a person not to talk to me for a very long time,minimum 2years. If I spit a swear word,it’s normally very wounding and i get stunned how i meven began to think of that. So, normally I stay out of agruments, because i can spew poison.
      I pray for the person who picks a fight with me and I always pray for my tongue to say only what is good and beneficial, otherwise i am capable of getting personal and say one very humiliating thing that will stick with one for a very long time.

  • i’ve had to contend with a lot of loss….deaths; marriage; lost custody of my 6 yr old daughter; jobs; self-esteem; confidence. i fel very insecure. my daughter was because i was afraid to stand up to my abusive husband and abusive solicitor. it’s been like this all my life. i’m a christian..not a door mat. ya know? i’m not even allowed to show my feelings about all this. apparently i don’t have the rights others do. i’m really angry about it all. there have been times i’ve wanted to go all out and have equal revenge. i need my feelings validated by other people so i can feel okay. no-one who matters understands and i can’t ever be myself. i have to control my emotions ALL the time. it’s not good for me and i have NO outlet. can you help me please? can i come here to vent my emotions, good and bad, and be validated and appeased?

  • Hi recently I have been subject to confrontation by the caretaker of the building I work in. The latest event was last night at a meeting called to build on the partnership we have with other users of the building. The caretaker started shouting saying I had agreed to pay for something and making me look stupid. I felt dreadful my heart started pumping faster and faster i went very red and my throat went very sticky. He was so agressive I tried to explain that I have no recollection of any conversation with him and that it was not my role to agree anything so it was unlikely that i would of done. It made him worse and now I don’t want to go to work incase he turns up and starts shouting at me again. The other times he has done this has been in front of children, which is awful because I can’t even reply in case he becomes any more aggressive. I love my job but he has started to make me feel so uncomfortable and intimidated.

  • hi i have had trouble with confrontation for a few years i dont like fighting but i imagine my self fighting, but when it comes to it my adrenilin takes over and i loose my bottle, why am i getting that? i was walking back from my girlfriends today in a bad mood when i walked past two guys that i had confrontations with before, when i walked past them they stared me out i called them a dick head and told them to fuck off one of them walked behind me calling me things like your a pussy your getting mugged off by a 17 year old, i didnt run or confront him just said im walking, and carried on walking at normal pace, have i lost face? should i off confronted him? should i fight? i feel angry at my self, what should i have done? i feel im a 25 yr old man and im not going to lower my level to fighting with a 17 yr old, but i feel weak and wish id done somthing!! please give me some advice

    • I probably would not have looked at them or said anything, just kept walking–I think that would be the best way to handle it as it doesn’t provoke. What you did was quite aggressive. I would not call you a wimp at all. You are lucky you didn’t get attacked. You acted bravely. It’s great that you didn’t fight. No, you should not fight, just ignore them. You got some insults in and I bet you intimidated them–I think you showed strength.

  • i have a issue with people using my name wether in a confrontational way or not
    for example
    janina!!! where are the other photos?
    i know what my name is, you dont need to start txts with it.
    i think ive allways had a thing about being put on the spot i feel belittled and five agian please tell me there are others out there like me

    please email me :)

  • Hi Jackie,

    I feel exactly the same way, especially when dealing with confrontation.

    I am really suprised that other people are able to so openly become aggressive with others, especially with people that they do not know personally.

    I do not deal with confrontation in the same manner, in a sense I personalize and internalize everything that somebody says to me when I am faced with a confrontational situation and generally I simply shut off and just listen, often not defending myself or my actions. Which leads to later scrutiny of what was said, and almost always “how I didn’t effectively deal with confrontation”. I think there is a lot of self doubt in regard to that.

    I enjoyed reading the original post, but can see myself not being calm enough in a situation to follow the seven steps specified. Especially taking a deep breath, when somebody is screaming at me. Usually I get butterflies, my palms get sweaty and I feel remarkably agitated.

    Confrontation is such a huge “brick wall” for me.

    Right now I am trying to decide between doing more study or working, because I have social anxiety and of course being afraid of confrontation does not help at all!

    Everybody’s post’s are helpful for me, because they are so personal. I relate better when people have personal experiences of how they were faced with a confrontation, remained calm, defused the situation and lived to see another day! I hope one day I am able to do the same.

    Thanks everyone:)

  • Hi, I’ve found reading all these comments useful – rallison I hope you managed to sort your situation out. What I find difficult is trying not to let myself be utterly devastated (!) by someone I care about having a go at me – to me it feels like an attack. I’m quite an open person, and don’t like to treat others badly, and I guess I expect that from other people. I also really care what they think of me and like people to be happy with me if possible. I’m probably a bit too much of an open book. I think I need to develop some kind of buffer or be able to put a protective wall up when someone has a go – does anyone have any tips for not allowing yourself to be hurt when it’s someone you care about (& should care about you)??

  • hi,i think deep down we all hate confrontations. I am one of those people who when confronted doesn,t always give the the right answers as the adrenaline is too much. i,m sure you all know the feelings. I am a caring and thought full person always looking out for others. because of my nature and perhaps how i look many people take advantage of that. over the years i have began to realise i am not the one with the problem. think about it. when approached with an aggresive situation verbal or physical who has the problem? well its not you because your not being aggresive. aggresive people are over grown bullies who try to control the situation. they have the issue not you so dont rise the situation thats what they want. one thing that makes my blood boil is how people talk to you. if there approach is correct and the body language is right i,m normally ok.
    slowly i,m learning to deal with people better. its still hard but i.m fed of being a walk over. “calm and a deep breath is a good start”. learning how to choose your words is more powerful than any physical fight. best of luck to you all

  • Hi, I like most of you HATE confrontation, I always end up lashing out, getting too personal, name calling, and basically going off on one!! Yet after it I always just beat myself up and feel guilty that i never dealt with it in an adult manner.
    Any advice?

    • Sometimes I just listen to what they are saying and just reply “Damn” and walk away. Just letting them deal with it. It seems to be their problem not mine.

    • Hello,
      I believe it is normal not to want engage in confrontation. I hate confrontation also.
      I have the three strikes rule. If someone is confrontational or I hear they are spreading gossips about me or they are just plain nasty I do not react until the third time. (Unless the situation needs immediate attention.)
      I ask the person(s) if I understood them correctly or I have my story straight. I then listen to them explain. (This gives me time to think and compose myself) I acknowledge their statement. I acknowledge them and give my feeling and understanding of the situation.
      If there is no conclusion or resolution I explain this is not the first time they offended, gossiped, hurt(you fill in the blank) and I would like to openly discuss and resolve any issues they have with me.
      If there is a problem I listen. Take their control away by not falling into anyone’s trap. Question them or ask them to help you understand what they see going on. If they get angry I state that if they are not willing to work things out calmly I have to end the discussion now! I then hang up or walk away and say a little pray. I do not need hate and anger in my life. As Mother Teresa said. “Love them anyway.” Love is not just a feeling. It is an action. You may have to love family at a distance and with caution.
      Say a quick prayer. No matter who they are have respect for yourself and do not lower yourself to childish behavior. You have a choice. Let the other person control you or you can be in control of yourself.
      I am only human. I do not always follow this advise but I do try.

  • Hey to those of you dealing with confrontations….

    It’s something I haven’t had to deal with until recently. It involved moving house with housemates – Eeesh. In the couple confrontations that arose I found myself very calm. Let the other party know you understand where they coming from. Really listen to them. Whatever you do – DON’T get defensive – it get’s you nowhere and the other person will not be interested in listening to you defend yourself. If you are not able to come up with a conclusion go away and think about it and have a conversation with them next time, if that’s possible. Otherwise you end up having conversations with them in your mind, and that is an energy waster when you could be focusing on happier moments. Good luck to you all out there.

  • Confrontations are my worst nightmares. If some comes to me and starts shouting and being very aggressive towards me I start to tremble and even cry to the point that I can’t control myself anymore.
    I google “dealing with confrontations” and I got this site. Now I want to let it all out and see if there is anyone else out there that feels and gets the same way I get. What do you do to make yourself feel better. Just this morning I had the worst confrontation with one of the mom’s in my son’s swim team.
    The team were having an event, I called this mom just to ask for some info. I need it to know at what time this event was being held and I happen to call this particular mom and she offered to take mom son with her so I could stay with my daughter. I made sure to let her know that she was being so kind and helpful but giving my son a ride to this place. At the place where we met, their were other kids who were going which included my son’s good friend, my son found out that his good friend is going with some else. So, my son got sad and asked me that he liked to go with his good friend instead. I explained to my son that we had already arrange for him to go this mom and her son. Her son found out that my son did not want to go with him and he left with the other group.
    I was left there not knowing how to explain to this mom that my son did not want to go with them.
    I said a little prayer in my mind hoping that this mom would understand. But OH MY GOD! She was PISSED OFF! She started going off on me saying that how could I let my son hurt her son’s feeling because he was left all by himself with no friends. This mom was literally yelling at me pointing her finger at me saying that I did not care about her sons feeling. Did not give me a chance to apologize that my son decided to go with the other group instead. I felt horrible inside yet this lady kept accusing me. I manage to get some words out in order to fix this whole ordeal, I suggested to her to let her son get a ride with the other group so he could also be with the other friend. But no, she was so angry about all this that did not want to listen to anything that I said. I felt that she was being very aggressive very unreasonable. What do you guys think about this? Any suggestions as what I should do or say to her, because she said she would come to me later to talk about this. Please say prayers for me. Thanks for hearing me out.

    • Dear Rallison,
      I just had a very similar experience today with my neighbor. She sent her son over to give back an old jewelry box that I gave her awhile back and along with it, a very STRONG worded note, telling me “to stay the F*** out of my house, stay the F*** away from me”, warning and then threatening that she would kick my a**, and, “oh, yeah, F*** YOU”, and “snake around your own F*****’ yard”….
      I went over and knocked on her door (Didn’t POUND on it or anything like that). I have no qualms about addressing this ridiculous accusation because I was never “snaking around” in her yard to begin with.
      Well, whoever was in there refusing to answer the door (I’m assuming it was her) peeked out the curtain but I saw the curtain move out of the corner of my eye, so I knocked a few more times, to no avail.
      I ended up walking away thinking to myself how can someone be so tough and threatening in a letter, but then be the total opposite when approached about it.
      Anyway, I went back home and wrote her an email telling her those were some pretty STRONG freakin’ words in that nasty note that she sent me.I stated,” LET’S GET IT STRAIGHT: I don’t occupy my time by “snaking aound” in people’s yards. You’re either letting your imagination run away with you, OR somebody’s giving you a line of bull****. I don’t know. Maybe both. ”
      I ended the letter by telling her that if she wanted to discuss this obvious misunderstanding, like two reasonable adults,then by all means, let’s. But if not, then I guessed it would be her perogative if she wanted to keep acting like she had bats in the belfry.
      There is only so much that you can say to someone in that kind of mental state. I mean, you can’t reason with a crazy person, because they’re not thinking rationably to begin with. It’s as simple as that.
      I can understand how you felt, being made to feel like some terrible lowlife who just committed a cardinal sin against this woman’s poor, dear, lonely, sweet child. When the fact of the matter is, YOU AREN’T AND YOU DIDN’T. And on top of that, do you feel like, even though you’ve got absolutely no reason to, but you feel the need to walk on eggshells whenever you cross paths with this individual? And there’s no resolution because they’ve already jumped to their own conclusions, without even giving you a chance defend yourself?
      The only thing I can tell you, that I have found is a worthwhile piece of advice is this: sometimes you’ve got to let things roll off your back like water off a duck. (My dear old Dad told me that) . When the person you’re trying to reason with is just too stubborn to deal with on any level, it’s time to wash your hands of them; they’ve already got issues that have nothing to do with you–you just happened to inadvertantly trigger a raw nerve in them that placed you in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they took it out on you.
      Eleanor Roosavelt said some words to this effect: The only time someone can MAKE you feel inferior, is when you LET them.
      I hope this letter helps.

      • I could cry reading your email. I’m the type of peacemaker who always tries to mend broken, lonely and depressed hearts.

        I’m a soft person and I had the same experience as you except my neighbour took it to the school grounds when we went to pick up our children and she got a friend of hers to point at me and whisper to each other (we are 35 years old).

        She would stick her finger up at me in the streets, at the school and would scream outside my bedroom window late at night.

        I finally had enough and confronted her with my children by my side. Told her to leave me the f*ck alone and since then she hasn’t looked at me. It’s hard for me to deal with because I haven’t done anything to her and she’s so nice to others (no so nice when she gossips VERY loudly in the backyard while on the phone each morning and night about her own friends). The other friend who used to follow her lead by pointing and staring at me while I was on my own no longer makes eye contact with me.

        I hope she realises now I will stick up for myself. I am planning on sending her family a Christmas card. My prayer is that she still knows that I’m not frightened of her but that I want peace and harmony in our street.

  • hey guys i just searched “dealing with confrontation” on google, and this came up. i just got back from work, and i am so frustrated. basically im only a teenager, and this women, shes twice my age, but she acts really aggressive, and if i dont do something right, she will talk to other people about me, right in front of me sometimes, and this will be humiliating for me, and can ruin my work relations with other colleague’s… but i just cant say anything to her. i usually just piss her off more by purpose, and dont say anything… but when i get home i feel so angry at myself for not sticking up for my self. arggghhhhh pisses me off so much… i need a back bone…

    • Anon, you’ll find people like this no matter where you go.
      If she is twice your age, she feels threatened by you in that she’s worried that they might be trying to push her out with somebody younger. We older folks tend to start worrying about job security around 50 or so.
      Don’t try to piss her off more because it always backfires and you could be the one that gets fired if she tells your boss you’re harassing her.
      Best bet would be to ask her in “front” of other coworkers: Jane (?) why are you so angry with me? If I’m making mistakes then you need to ‘help’ me not try to humiliate me. Afterall, (Jane?) you know more about the job than I do because you have more work experience and I’m just glad you’re trying to give me a chance.”
      If nothing changes after that and she continues, then I would go to her boss. Good Luck, Anon! Don’t let people like that get over on you or you’ll be that way the rest of your life!

  • Hi Amy, thanks for being so open about this. What you are experiencing is called ‘Bullying’. As this is a family member it will be hard to deal with however the best piece of advice i could give would be to avoid contact with the family member. If you feel up to it I would let them know why you are not going to be at events where they are there, and why you are removing yourself from their life. If you are not up to it I would try and discreetly avoid being there when the bully is there. This will eventually be noticed but it will help your situation in the short term. Hope this helps Amy.

  • The problem I face is that the agressor is a family member. I am terrified to speak to this person (not because of violence but because of the way they make me feel). I am stuck with having a relationship with this person. They are annoyed with me for not talking about my feelings – but the reason I can’t do this is because I do not trust them. But I’m too scared to tell them this. They are very confrontational and tease me regularly – but if I try to say I find it upsetting I’m told not to be a wimp. Maybe I am a wimp, but I’d prefer that to being angry. I don’t know how to deal with it.

    • Hi Amy,
      First time veiwer/reading. My situation is very similiar to yours.
      I hope you have made some personal progress since you shared your story.
      We have a family member like you.
      Our family member has been fighting/bullying the for the last twenty
      years. It is now impacting the next generation in our family. No one “current” family member will confront this bully. My anxieties/fear is our
      children are now the target. Nasty,rude, and condescending remarks
      are directed at them. I feel I need to be an adovocate for my children
      I need to teach them and show them how to deal/handle people like this.
      I am their first teacher. Need help/guidance.


      • Just tell them like my Mom use to tell people all the time. “If you can’t say something nice please don’t say anything.”

        My self, I may be open to discussion on a subject but, my judge is in Heaven.

    • Tell them the truth,That you don’t trust them to open up to them with your feelings and that maybe one day that could change but,not today. Also tell them you don’t wish to discuss it right now and you will tell them when your ready to open up .

      • you can’t always use the truth..they won’t change thats the signal they have you…what you have to do do is always remember they are in a deep depression, and jealous and will suck you right in..they’ll insult you, talk downward to you…

        you can’t do to much explain…just explain how your left hook is going to go right into his face…believe that’ll get ride of him…..

        nice nice doesn’t work..

    • You will regret letting this person bully you. I let people bully me for years and even at work. Make a stand and you will be surprised at how fast these weaker peole back down. It takes a bigger person to take bully’s and a maller person to be one. If your not afraid for your life i would call them out on it and move on. Life is too short to have to be this way. You wont miss it….trust me

  • The best fight is the one not fought, especially over someone wanting to fight over a wet dog.

    A calm demeanor and simple apology go a long, long way to diffusing conflict.

  • Anger Management Activities That Are Easy For You…

    Anger is pain against some unexpected and unwanted events. Anger may result in physical action or shouting loudly. Everyone gets angry. Some people will react very quickly to the perceived pain. Some may not. May be some lose their coolness and hit the…

  • I’m a trembler- all someone has to do is start with that ‘voice’ and I begin to tremble and get ready for a fight- Then I play the event over and over in my head wondering if I could have done something different. I always wish I could have been bigger then them and really kept my cool and acted more zen about it. I think it’ll take a lot of growing before I get there. I hate that I give other people that much power over me ! I feel a vodka tonic coming on!

    • Lol, I’m exactly the same…think about what was said and how i should of acted differantly….i know it as my weakness, and it really does drag me down. The thing that i’m trying to instill in myself is basically confidence, one thing my cousin said is to do self defence and get good at it….then your ontop in every confrontation as you know if it has to go to the highest level of self defence then you can dominate and protect yourself, then apparantly it takes away all stress and fear…..and it’s true, you never see a Marine or a black belt trembling and being to passive in a confrontataion…..hope this helps

      • has nothing to do with a marine or a blackbelt..this is you dealing with a low life…and in order to get rid of this low life you need
        to say get away from me or you going to eat this pencil for lunch…

        believe me..i’ve met some trash in my day..and working with this misery does not help…you have to cut it fast….remember they are jealous, nasty and bitter…to them your prey.

      • marines and black belts are tough but mentally. also they DO NOT engage in fisticuffs unless its absolutely necessary. the “get out of my face” thing is a door opener to more confrontation. its best to simply apologize and keep it moving. i lift weights and can be a toughguy if i wanted to but honestly the nonsense isnt worth it. most times people just want that little victory of hurting someone else and you can give it to them with much more ease. they go on their own way feeling superior and you can just walk away unaffected by what would be more nonsense in the long run.youre not their therapist or a member of law enforcement or the reason for their anger. i had a boss who was ALWAYS flipping out and switching up his own orders making it impossible to please him. i learned that if i just say yes and apologize for whatever he was yelling at me for it went smoother. I later found out he lost both his wife and mother in a short period of time and now i just pray for him bc i understand its not me hes so upset about. you never know what pain someone is hiding and unfortunately they dont know what pain youre hiding forgiveness a prayer and some avoidance works best.

    • no reason to time this happens just say — want me to shove my newspaper down your throat…no? then get lost…

      always remember they suffer from depression but thats not your problem is it.

  • Great post, I simply don’t get sucked into confrontations, my ego is put in check by my need for peace of mind and lack of an urgent need to justify anything to anyone, I simply let it go, and 90% of the time I am right any way.


    • i agree tabs..however people do get sucked in not because they are passive but because they are trying to be friends with the person to create some sort of communication…

      these individuals are very jealous, suffer from serious depression,stuck in their lives, miserable, they need help– so what they do is they’ll prey on a person, who’s having a good day, dating a great guy or gal, in a great mood. its that simple. when you confront it they’ll say you don’t understand, you don’t know what i’m saying, you don’t get it…that’s a ploy to get you again.

      some can see it coming, some do not see it coming … the best thing to do is if its at work you must tell your superior, if its in your personal life..just tell them get out of my face…they are negative energy that you do not need.

      • I’m confused about what you mean…so the person who is jealous and depressed confront the person who is having a great day/person and sucks the person having a great day in, then they confront again?
        huh??? confused…
        I don’t see how that works???
        or maybe It’s because I’ve never been in that kind of situation…

  • Stephen,

    One thing that has worked wonders for me lately is this simple phrase:

    Maybe you’re right

    My ego hates saying it. But it has reduced the stress in my life dramatically.

      • Wow. “Scream your lungs out”. Ummm… normal adults don’t scream like they are out of control 4 year olds. Get a grip on your rage. Telling someone who is in a rage they are right gives them validation and they will calm down. There isn’t anything wrong with giving people validation. Seriously, is being right that important? No, not really. Pick your battles. Not every situation is a reason for a fight. If someone is always trying to be right, it’s time to stop their petty game and stay away from them.

        • Was interested in your comment, but I have to say that sometimes, some people warrant being screamed at when you have tried every which way to get through to them! It isn’t a good way to deal with these people, I agree, but how would you, for instance deal with younger women who totally disrespect you, because you are much older than they are. They don’t listen to what you have to say, dismiss you, and generally are pretty rude.

          I hate ignorance and bad manners in people, and I’m afraid that disrespect for the older generations is rife today! I have come across too many young women who speak to me, and other older women, as though we ares recalcitrant 3-year-old, and I’m frankly fed up with it! If I ask a perfectly reasonable question, in a polite, courteous manner, I don’t expect to be answered curtly, rudely, and dismissively!

    • to steve:
      don’t say maybe your right…because they’ll do it again..and your sending them more prey…just say get lost, your wasted energy.

      • My sister recently took up with a friend of mine. She out rightly let me now, she was going to use him,abuse him and then spit him out. The friend was in a period of grieving having lost his previous partner in a sudden heart attack. I made it quite clear to her I would do everything in my power to not let her take advantige of my friend. A day later i was confronted by my friend. The confrontation was nasty, my sister had lied, twisted, and manipulated the whole situation. i was accused of unthinkable malise things. I was made out to be the devil himself. I initally tried to defend myself but began to withdraw as accusations came fast and furious. Lie after lie had been told by my sister to my friend,I was been humiliated deceived and put down. The confrontation became way out of hand. I got the flight or fight reaction. And flew. I felt i needed back up. Picked up my partner and returned for round two. Big mistake. The then arguement got even more out of control with my sister stood on the outlines smiling. All bullets firing at me. My partner did nothing. I was left in tears, crumpled and deflated. Since then my sister has become a perminant feature in my friends life. And i have been left in the gutter. My sister is teling everyone that she has finally found happiness and that I tried to jepidice her relationship. I have been painted black, while she has come up smelling of roses. This was three months ago. Please help

        • Hi Anne,

          I hope things are better for you? The only thing I can suggest to you is that you should talk to them both seperately and ask them for their forgiveness i.e. tell them that you should not have interfered with their buisness and that in hindsight you feel that you should have left them to it. You should also say that what has happened and been said is in the past and that you do not want to bring the past into the future. Also say that you want to have a fresh start and that you are comitted to having a great new loving relationship with them. I hope this helps you?

          • Why on Earth would you say that? Best thing to do is forget those people. Move on only time will tell the truth I’m sure of it, and if it doesn’t then its a situation you have to walk away from or risk looking even more in the wrong.

    • I’m glad I came across this site, not only for the tips but to read everyone’s stories. It let me see how I do things differently, what parts I have mastered and where I can improve.

      Currently I am dealing with a shitty boss who likes to raise his voice in a very childish ‘I’m louder than you are so I’m more right’ way. On the whole he is not a terrible person, but I am also dealing with cultural differences and he really does not know what to do with me. I recently had a confrontation with him over something stupid. He is trying to change my job responsibilities and that involves me learning new things. I did not argue when he taught me some new complicated crap on excel, but I did say I would probably have questions, which he was ok with. When I asked him the next day to repeat it, he tried explaining again, and I would say ‘but I thought you said this’ etc. Several times when I asked a question he would say ‘no listen’, to which I replied ‘I AM listening’. His reaction was to full out yell at me in the middle of our office; he randomly attacked me personal direction saying I didn’t listen to people and that’s why I cant get along with anyone. He went on with the Excel sheet like nothing had happened, while I sat trying not to cry and he finished off with ‘I have a meeting I don’t have time for this’ and rushed off, at which point I did cry, embarrassingly, at my desk. I tried to talk to him about it later, he said a bunch of things about my attitude and interest in my job,and that I should keep my mouth shut while he talks and ask questions later. I asserted that it was not a reason to yell or get personal, which he denies doing. The resolution was definitely unsatisfactory but I still have to work with this dick. This is not the first time he has yelled (once he threatened to fire me) and I doubt it will be the last. Either way I am more concerned about being in control of my reaction, not getting him to change.

      I think I am a somewhat reserved person in a public space, and I don’t tend to ever get into fights with friends because I am good about talking things out, but when I get into situations of confrontation I start tensing up and getting shaky immediately. I can be assertive when I need to be, and in general I think I am a rational person who does not immediately jump to anger or aggression. What I don’t like is that I can be made to cry very easily. I think this dates back to when I was little and my dad would yell at me, because I still have the same reaction to him when he gets confrontational. I would like to know how to keep my calm even when something hits home. But when I am caught by someone else’s anger I don’t always respond the way I want. I’ve become really good at the ‘follow up’ talk, especially at work, to try to resolve conflict, and calmly explain which parts I found offensive and also apologize for whatever part I may have played in the clash, but I find that my voice will shake at the best of times, and at the worst, I burst in to full on babbling tears. I don’t cry at movies or even really when I’m alone and sad, but I hate the uncontrollable emotion that I get in a confrontation. I’ve tried distancing myself in my head while in such situations but this work place has got my nerves and my reserve so frazzled that its really easy to tip me over. Any advice would be helpful.

      • Hi Doris, I understand completely what you mean here. I have a similar problem as I tend to spew out tears uncontrollably aswell and it can get SO frustrating at times because it is a very hard thing to master. I also believe it comes from my childhood and how my father would blame all his life troubles mainly on me and still does to this day.
        I learnt to get to grips with myself in a certain way, confrontation still gives me the jetters and I am still on the long course of handling my emotions, but every bit of the way is a massive step and being proud of yourself after every situation even if its a mere tear less is something to be happy about. I think being confident with yourself is very important, telling yourself you’re a great person no matter what mediocre individuals spit out.
        The breathing technique mentioned earlier I find helps me a great deal and always giving the confrontation starter your biggest most exagerrated smile makes you feel better and makes them confused. Good luck.

      • Dear Doris,

        I wanted to reach out to you after reading your comment. I was recently offered an IT position at a college and my boss was exactly like yours, and would deny raising his voice, he called it ‘passion’.

        I have managed to hold back tears at 2 of my most recent confrontations, the last being at a uni/college professor who yawned throughout my presentation, was late for the start, and didn’t know what it was all about but continually criticised it as ‘very boring’. I was on the verge of tears at one point, my voice got very high pitched… but I just breathed for 2 seconds and thought of the smug satisfaction it may have given her if I’d cried and held it back. Just.

        I would say that self-confidence is a big issue here. Same thing with the Dad, I was told by everyone that he ‘changed’ after I was born. Became a terrible person and jealous of the attention my mum gave me.

        I’m not sure how to go about getting over it, but I have been seeing a psychiatrist for other issues stemming from it. I have cut him out of my life completely now and it hurt so much initially but he was a destructive force on me and I didn’t deserve it. Slowly I’m getting over it, I have a more positive outlook on life and other people and try to avoid men who put people down ruthlessly and continually under the guise of ‘banter’. I find this most helpful.

        If you would ever like to talk let me know,

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