I have recently done a couple of posts on confrontation and thanks to those who asked for more, here is another one! How about what to do if you must confront someone you care about – in particular, spouses, teenagers, friends and family? It is difficult when emotion gets in the way or if there is a history or approaching each other or arguing in a particular way. The following may help you step out of the pattern.
State the issue in one sentence
Give an example of the behavior you want to change
Describe how you feel about it
Tell them what you think is at stake if the behavior doesn’t change
State how you may be contributing to the problem
State your desire to resolve the issue
Ask them to respond.
Here’s how it might work in practice:
1.‘John, I really want to talk with you about the effect your behavior is having on some of our friends’
2.’I found out at the party last weekend that you drank too much and were rude to Karen about how you think she is not strict enough as a parent and spoils her kids’
3.’I am embarrassed and concerned about the consequences’
4.’If you can’t control your drinking at our parties I am worried that our friendships could be at stake’
5.’I feel partly responsible because I could have stopped filling your glass so often or had a word with you earlier’
6.’This is what I would like to resolve, John. You are drinking too much and the aggressive behavior is the result’
7.’I want to understand your perspective and what you think is going on. Please talk to me.’
It can be frustrating to get stuck reacting the same way to someone you care about. Especially if you don’t/can’t communicate what you really mean. Try this next time.