Mental Health Blog

Your Guide To Productive Confrontation

Posted by CPCC Blogging Team on


Discovering the art of confronting people well.

There are plenty of difficult things about being in relationships, but confrontation is often at the top of the list. Not only does confrontation require you to call out another person and put them in a potentially awkward—or even hurtful—situation, it also makes you feel vulnerable. Is there a way to confront people that won’t leave both of you hurt?

Yes! In fact, you can learn to confront in a way that not only avoids injury, but also ensures that your confrontation yields healthy fruit and lasting change. Here is a brief guide to the art of confronting people well.  

  • Be Prepared: If you come into a confrontation with lots of anger, you set yourself up to explode. Don’t approach someone until you feel collected and can talk calmly about the matter that is bothering you. It is often helpful to set up a time when you know you can both be engaged and free from timelines or distractions.
  • Be Gentle: All too often, we assume that the person we’re going to confront already knows he or she is doing something wrong. Instead, assume that you’re going to point out something shocking to him or her, and try to break the news that he or she has been offensive or hurtful gently.
  • Be Positive: You shouldn’t go into a confrontation just to “say your piece.” Instead, go into the conversation visualizing a positive outcome in which you and the person you’re confronting have a healthy conversation that results in real change.
  • Be Clear: Statements like “You’re impossible!” won’t get you anywhere. Instead, be prepared to clearly explain the expectation for that person and how they’re not meeting it.
  • Be Succinct: Now is not the time to unearth your laundry list of grievances. Choose the most important topic and stick to that. Bringing too many complaints into the conversation can leave the other person feeling attacked and defensive.

Are you feeling overwhelmed about confronting someone? That’s okay! You’re not alone, and the dedicated team at the Community Presbyterian Counseling Center in San Ramon, California can help you work through your feelings to get to a place where you can confront that person feeling calm and centered. Contact our staff today!


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