It’s just us here since I’m still on my social media break, so I wanted to write about something else that has been on my heart but, honestly, scares me to talk about: Confrontation.
I am someone who used to say things like, “I’m not confrontational, but I don’t have an issue confronting someone about something.” Which is not only contradictory, it was completely untrue.
While I have always been someone who could advocate for others and do the heavy lifting to make sure someone feels included, listened to, respected, and/or loved, I have always struggled to do those things for myself. This is, in part, due to the way I was raised, and because of a myriad of socialization and self-esteem issues that made me believe I am not worthy or capable of advocating for myself.
Also, I quite simply didn’t want to be disliked for standing up for myself. I am someone who is a passionate speaker, but I carefully choose each word before I say them, making sure the word tastes good and sounds even better before daring to let it pass my lips. While I can be impulsive—especially when I’m heated—I am someone who rehearses before I confront someone to make sure I am pragmatic and logical as opposed to emotional, and then I consider multiple outcomes, so I’ll know what to say to those, too.
But when it’s come to confronting someone on behalf of myself in the past, I clam up. I am suddenly at a loss for words, incapable of finding my voice, not willing to search deep enough to find even the simplest of terms to express myself. One time I literally blocked someone’s number in the middle of a conversation where I was about to stand up for myself because I was not only tired of defending myself (note: I, in fact, had not defended myself at all), I was afraid of what would happen if I did. Would this person reject what I said and tell me I wasn’t worth defending or advocating for? Would they continue on as if I hadn’t spoken? Would I leave the conversation feeling empowered and uplifted like the many people I had advocated for in the past did?
The answer to all three of those questions is no. Once I began to do the inner work to establish boundaries and discover who I was at my core, it became so easy to simply tell someone, “That isn’t my character, so you have no right to say that to me,” or, “I know who I am, and I am not who you are making me out to be.” These are not stances one should take if they are, in fact, who others accuse them of being. If you steal and someone calls you a stealer, don’t gaslight them into believing your character is not a thief, so you cannot be one. It requires a steady grasp on the person you are becoming, and a willingness to stand by yourself when no one else will. The more you work on who you are, the less you will feel like you need to martyr yourself to be understood.
You all know by now I am someone who is becoming less and less attached to being understood by others because people seek to misunderstand anyone about any topic at any time. Don’t believe me? Go on social media and post, “Today, I noticed that the sun is green, and grass is yellow,” and see how many people tell you you’re wrong or crazy. That’s a far-fetched example because we know the sun is not green, nor is grass typically yellow, but you will quickly see how many people make it their personal mission to undo other people’s viewpoints and feelings on a daily basis, and try your hardest to stop perpetuating that in your own life.
I am confrontational. Being confrontational is not a bad thing when I am protecting my energy, rejecting the labels people attach to my being, and defending my right to think and feel however I want.