Confrontation is oftentimes unnecessary, people should reassess conflict before being upfront

Confrontation is oftentimes unnecessary, people should reassess conflict before being upfront

Leah Tan

When in an argument with a friend, I always make a conscious decision to take a step back and reassess the situation. In doing so, I often find many of the issues I was concerned over were small and petty, making me ask myself the following question: how much messier would the situation be if I confronted the person immediately?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should completely conceal your feelings and opinions; you have every right to be entitled to them. However, I’m saying that voicing every minor concern you have with the purpose of trying to convince the other party otherwise is a rash action and can complicate the situation even more.

There’ve been many times when I realized I was getting frustrated over a petty argument. For example, as much as I think night showers are the way to go, wasting both time and energy to argue only proves how problematic confrontation can be. Is it really necessary to voice your thoughts on everything all the time? Even if it isn’t over something controversial, it can leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouths.

The old saying “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” holds a lot of truth; approaching each situation with the intent to listen more than talk is a much more collaborative and peaceful approach that benefits all parties of the argument in the end. It’s easy to think otherwise especially in the heat of the moment, but that’s exactly why it’s best to not take action immediately. Just think about it: which is more important? Trying to prove you’re right or resolving the situation? If your only goal is to try to prove you’re right, you won’t gain any benefits except for a shallow sense of satisfaction. Instead, you are left with even more tension among others which can significantly damage relationships. However, if you were to approach the situation calmly and rationally, you are bound to resolve the situation, benefitting everyone in the end.

In today’s social climate, most people believe approaching every situation with confrontation sends the message that you demand respect, but they fail to realize that remaining silent does the same. Be the bigger man; if you talk less and smile more, you let others know you are mature enough to move on from a situation and don’t need to make additional remarks that would escalate it further. It doesn’t necessarily mean you passively agree or concede that you’re wrong.

In the end, it’s important to understand that time and reflection can avoid conflict. If you take the time to calm down and reassess the situation yet still believe that it’s an issue to be talked about, then it’s justified to be more assertive. But regardless, when confronting, just listen to others’ concerns while also carefully voicing yours. Don’t approach with the intention to try to shove your ideas down their throat—it won’t be pretty.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Leah Tan at [email protected]

Read an opposing column by Sowmya Chundi here.