7 Tips for dealing with confrontation

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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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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.