Hi, my name is Domonique and confrontation scares me. If there was an AA meeting for people who shy away from confrontation this would be my introduction.
When I decided to write about this topic, my first thought was, “you guys are going to think that I am a hot mess.” I feel like every time I write a blog post I discuss something that I’m struggling with or trying to change about myself. Although this thought was funny to me, I realized that this is literally my reality. During this stage of my life, my mind is constantly on self-improvement. Last year my friend Jess told me that the habits I develop in my 20’s and the decisions I make during that period will set the stage for the rest of my life. As I approach my twentieth year, my aim has been to start early in order to set myself up for success. Identifying my negative habits is so essential and I love to share these things with you; It makes me feel like you guys are holding me accountable because I put it out there.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, we can finally talk about confrontation. For as long as I can remember I have avoided confrontation. Whether it be a small issue like discussing my feelings or something larger like discussing a complication with a paycheck, I would rather wait for someone else to bring up the topic than to do so myself. If there is a problem and nobody brings it up, I often tend to ignore the situation as if it will magically go away (silly me right.)
Whenever I ask my mom for advice in situations like these, she always says something like…. “SPEAK UP Domonique! You’re getting older and if you continue to act like this people are going to take advantage of you.” Although I’ve always known this to be true, I just haven’t been ready to step out of my comfort zone and work on my confrontation issues. After an eye-opening experience this weekend, I’ve decided that it is about time that I boss up and make this an issue of the past.
This weekend I went to the movies with my sister, neighbor and some of her friends. After the movie, we all agreed that we would end a great night by getting dinner. Although my sister and I are dietary vegans and I probably should have mentioned that, I don’t like to be a bother so I didn’t have too much to say when they were choosing the dinner location. The first thing I did after finding out the name of the restaurant was look up the menu to see what we would be able to eat. Safe to say the options were few; the dinner location was a steakhouse and the only thing we would be able to eat was french fries. A normal person would have just said something but not me, I spent the 45-minute ride going back and forth in my head contemplating whether I should go, buy French fries and get dinner after or just ask her to drop us home (we would pass by our house on the way to the restaurant.) When we were five minutes away from the house I finally built up the courage to tell her that there wouldn’t be many options for us and I’d rather her drop us home on the way. She was totally okay with that and she even apologized for forgetting about our “dietary restrictions” (she’s super sweet.) From this experience, I took three mental notes that prompted me to get my whole life.
First of all, I wasted 40 minutes being an anxious mess when I could have spoken up from the beginning and enjoyed the ride home. This is something I tend to do often and I would save myself a lot of time (in which I spend stressing) by taking a breath, figuring out what I want to say and just moving on. Second, I realized that sometimes I make situations more serious than they are by spending so much time thinking about another person’s possible reaction. The worst someone can ever say to me is yes or no (or anything else along those lines) so there isn’t really much of a reason for me to be afraid. Rather than worrying about another person, I think that if I focus on myself things would go a lot smoother for me mentally (over thinking will literally be the death of me lol.) Lastly, if I didn’t speak up for myself I would have ended up going somewhere I didn’t want to be when I didn’t have to. This was just a subtle reminder that if I don’t speak up for myself, nobody else will. God gave me a voice for a reason and I need to start using it
I’ve decided that it is time for me to move past the roadblock that my fear of confrontation places on me. To be honest with you, I don’t really have a plan other than to push myself to use my voice when it scares me most. I’m not really looking forward to this journey but it is just another thing that has to be done.
Can you relate to this? Also, if you have practical advice on how I can conquer my fear of confrontation, I’d love to hear from you.