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Why Confront When You’d Rather Ignore

Last week you learned how to be tactful when confronted with anger. Today I explain how to be tenacious in relationship confrontation and why you should want to. 

Being tenacious requires you to be determined, to cling to a principle and not relinquishing your position. Don’t plow people over and force your viewpoint but hold onto it and stand your ground. Share your stance respectfully.

It’s imperative to tenaciously confront conflict and not stand silent in the face of injustice.

This is where some relationships get themselves in trouble. You don’t want to rock the boat so you let things slide. You’d rather not confront what bothers you, so you allow yourself to get stepped on, taken advantage or for a need to go unmet. Stop taking the easy way out. Although this avoids immediate displeasure it creates long term turmoil and stunts relationship growth. You don’t want that now do you?

At first, letting things slide seems harmless but when left unchecked, you’ll end up like a child hiding a pile of toys under the bed.  Keep the relationship healthy. Deal with issues as they arise or you’ll be faced with a pile of junk to clean up.

Of course you’ll need to know WHEN you confront and HOW to confront, let’s get to it.

Get Out Of The Heat

The time to tenaciously confront is NOT in the heat of an argument. Last week you read how an angry person flosses their ears with your words, as what you say goes in one ear and out the next.  In the-heat-of-the-moment is not the time to address important issues for the heart of the matter will certainly go unheard. If you missed this you can catch up here.

If an argument demands discussion? Let them know you will take part when there is no more yelling, name calling or speaking in a condescending tone. This is as much for you as it is for them. Take the mature stance and step away. Don’t let yourself get out of control. Come back once you’ve gained  mental strength. Come back level headed. Be tenacious, hold this stance and don’t back down.

Gather your thoughts, take some space and collect yourself, you have the right to do this. If you are looking for permission, I give it to you now.  But beware, this gesture will likely arouse even more anger in the other individual. Whether the storm with grace as you keep yourself calm. In time, as they learn the new limit you set, they will settle into their new role and you will both come out stronger because of it.

Don’t Act Like Children Without Restraint

Your tactful tenacious stance will shock your spouse (and yourself to be honest). This will be as new and strange for you as it is for them.  Habits keep us on the same page. Repeating unhealthy habits cause us to go no where.  We don’t cover ground, we don’t grow, we don’t change, like that merry-go-round I mentioned last week.

When someone is reacting without restraint, don’t stay in the same room. Physically separate yourselves while these high-emotions die down.  This takes strength and is a noble thing to do.

Be tactful; let arguments pass, remain calm, stable and kind.  Be tenacious, identify the source of conflict and confront the matter…. later.  Whether it’s later that day, tomorrow or whenever.  Wait till both of you are level-headed, come together like mature adults. I stress mature as many adults come together fighting like children without restraint.

Tossing hurtful, careless words will cause you both to end up frustrated, hurt and repeating the same unhealthy cycle. Instead, be tenacious in your stance to be heard while approaching conflict tactfully. This is the best way to set yourself up for your message to successfully be heard.

See It, Then Do It

Before you walk into a conversation where tension tends to arise play the scenario out in your mind. See yourself remaining calm, and not letting offensive comments arouse anger within you. Determine before hand how you will act, what you will say and then play out what you’ve rehearsed. Build confidence by successfully managing a difficult situation, even if the success is imagined.

Did you know mental rehearsal is a popular practise amongst athletes? This isn’t something I thought up, it’s something many professionals understand and use to gain success. Be tenacious in using this tool to improve your relationship skills and personal growth?

Don’t allow wrong against you to create wrong within you.

Do what is right even when it’s not being done unto you. You’ve heard the saying two wrongs don’t make a right, well this is the time the saying plays true.

It’s Time … Step up-to the Plate

When you confront someone to talk about an important issue, be sure you do so with a soft, humble attitude.  Don’t approach aggressively or with a fighting tone, that will instantly arouse a fight within them.  When someone approaches with two fists in the air, the other person is likely to be just as quick to raise theirs – instinctively.  Verbal attacks are no different. How you approach sets the tone for your discussion so do so gently.

I get it, this is incredibly difficult to do, it may even feel impossible but I am here to tell you it’s not. It just requires practise, consistency and patience.   I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes certain I’ve lost my marbles but hear me out.

Go to them when you know they are in a good head space. Ask their permission to discuss the topic and speak in a calm, collected manner as you bring up points of tension. Don’t become unstable or loose control. Hold it together and end the conversation if you find yourself heading in the wrong direction.

Reluctantly Complying

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. – Dale Carnegie.

If you force someone into willingly comply, you will not have their good will. This will only bring about temporary change instead of a lasting results. Be sincere in your requests and let them know how their actions are affecting you, any reasonable spouse should take this into consideration when making decisions.

Make Your WHY Clear

Many times we state what we want someone to do instead of why we want them to do it. Stating what we want doesn’t get to the heart of the problem and the heart of the problem is what needs to be address for lasting change to take place.

For example. Instead of asking your spouse to pick their clothes up off the floor and place them into the hamper, let them know why you want them to do this. Is it just for a clean house? Or is there a deeper issue?

If you want them to pick up their clothes just for the sake of picking up their clothes, this may not be a strong enough motivation for them to do this. If they realize how it’s making you feel and how it affects your relationship, this builds a stronger case.

  • Do you feel taken advantage?
  • Or you feel like their mom?
  • Do you feel like their slave as you clean up after them?

It’s possible they are unaware how their actions affect you and simply voicing your feelings may bring about the change you long for.  Extend grace, breaking engrained habits is difficult.  Change won’t happen overnight, but a willingness to move in the right direction should cause you to have a private little party inside.

What’s in it For Them?

So you’ve been affected, this isn’t enough.  Let them know how this change will positively affect their life.

People don’t want to go the extra mile, just for the sake of going the extra mile.  Rarely will someone make a change for the sake of someone else. Naturally, mankind is selfish so appeal to their natural tendency – if you can.

Think real deep about how your requested change will benefit them

  • Will you be more responsive to their sexual advances? (Did I just say that? …. yes I did)
  • Are you going to want to spend more time with them?
  • Does this make you open to hearing about their day?
  • Are you motivated to take on one of their requests?
  • Do you want to do something that’s really important to them?

Speak Their Language

Tenaciously speak in terms of their interests, use terminology they relate to. This will require thoughtful effort and putting a limit on those emotional feelings begging to front flip off your tongue; but it’s certainly worth it.

For example. Don’t just say “I really want to go on a date with you.” “Will you please take me to a hotel for the night?”  Instead say, “I would really like to get emotional naked with you as I share what’s on my mind and in my heart.” Or you could say, “I would really like for you to take me to a hotel so we could have a special (throat clearing sounds) experience.”  Come. On. Ladies…. Now THIS will get your husbands attention. (And yes, you may use these lines)

Use these tactics to gain enthusiastic agreement. Alright, alright, enthusiastic agreement may be exaggerated, but at least you’ll have their attention and likely their interest.  What does your spouse need or want and how will helping you, help them achieve their goals?

Let Me Help You Become More Tactfully Tenacious

In an effort you help you along in this relational endeavour I want to leave you with a few power phrases to trigger a positive response.  Write them down, take a picture, print them, do whatever you must do to remember to use them as needed.

  • I’ve made a lot of mistakes, I’d appreciate your patience as I grow.
  • I’m still learning, will you learn with me?
  • Sometimes I am wrong, I’d love to hear your perspective.
  • I’d love your feedback.
  • Will you teach me?
  • Please tell my what I did to upset you
  • How are you viewing this situation?
  • I believe you said THIS, did I get that right?
  • I am feeling really uncomfortable right now.
  • I’l like to understand your better, can you explain your reasoning?
  • What you are trying to get done?
  • Is there a different way we could try this?
  • I really messed up this time.
  • I’m embarrassed about this mistake.
  • How can we move forward?
  • This is awkward but….
  • I realize I’ve upset you but I won’t allow myself to get yelled at.
  • We’ll discuss when I’m better prepared.
  • I need to gather my thoughts.

Call things out for how they are. Don’t sugar coat the situation. Practise using power phrases at the right time and you will pave the way for smoother conversation.

Covering a Lot Of Ground

This article covered a lot of ground and I moved rather quickly so I’ll take a moment to recap as I connect each point to their correlating Relationship Rule.

Relationship Rule #3: Leave no rock unturned, don’t sweep concerns under the rug. 

Being tenacious means you value your opinion and recognize they it should be heard.  Your viewpoint matter. Stop pretending that everything is okay, stop living a false life.  It’s time to be real with one another and go where you’d prefer not to. It’s your duty to speak truthfully and stop hiding from confrontation.

Healthy relationships don’t let things go and hope they disappear, they bring them out into the open and deal with them as they arise. Otherwise issues will sit, fester and infect the relationship like an unkept sore.

Relationships are a breeding ground for growth and growth is required for healthy, mature relationships.

  • Put off falsehood and speak truthfully. Ephesians 4:25
  • Speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15

When Anger is Flying, Move out of the Way

Relationship Rule #4: Don’t discuss important uses when anger is flying. 

Being tenacious requires you to put a boundary on yourself and not let people speak disrespectfully to you.  Don’t let yourself get yelled at. Don’t listen to someone call you names or make character accusations.  Of course you can’t stop them from talking but you can respectfully (and calmly) remove yourself from the situation.  You can distance yourself and choose to have discussion when emotions aren’t so high.

  • An intelligent, rational, sensible individual sees danger and retreats but the thoughtless, indifferent and inattentive keep going and suffer for it. Proverbs 27:12 (with a Dash of Tash)

Next week I zoom through more Relationship Rules. Don’t deprive yourself,  join our virtual family and never miss a post.

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