The Truth About Confrontation

our enemy is our inner me

Confrontation is scary especially when fear has intimidated you and you’ve coped by shutting down, smiling and being cooperative even when you were mistreated or lied to.

Jamie hated confrontation. As long as she could remember, she was always afraid to stand up for herself because she felt like she was going to be ridiculed or criticized.

For her it seemed easier to keep her mouth shut, especially in romantic relationships.

Even though Jamie and her boyfriend Jeff broke up over a year ago, she was still afraid to confront him.

After their break up Jeff would often text her or call and ask where she was and what she’d been doing. When she told him Jeff would prod even further. “Where else have you been?”

Jamie felt like he was checking up on her, as if he somehow already knew where she’d been and he was testing her to make sure she was being honest.

She suspected that Jeff was tracking her. When she asked him about it, he admitted that he used to but he didn’t anymore. Jamie felt obligated to believe him, even though her gut instincts told her otherwise.

The thought of him tracking her made her feel naked, disrespected and invaded.

One day her sister told her that he was probably able to see her location on her phone since Jamie was still using the phone that Jeff had purchased for her when they were together. Jamie was livid and immediately figured out how to turn off her location.  

“I wanted to confront Jeff,” Jamie told me. “But for some reason the thought of confronting him makes me feel extremely guilty, anxious and ashamed.

As a peace keeper Jamie never wanted to rock the boat because somebody might be disappointed in her. For a lifetime, she’d been subdued by anxiety and shame. And it kept her compliant. Timid. Afraid.

That’s when I had an aha moment.

“I wonder if you’re looking at this situation wrong,” I said. “What if you’re not confronting Jeff?”

“What do you mean?” Jamie asked.

“What if you looked at this confrontation from a different perspective? What if, instead of confronting Jeff, you realized that you’re really confronting yourself? What if it’s not Jeff that you’re afraid of, but the false guilt, shame and anxiety that have held you in bondage?”

Jamie’s eyes widened. “You…are…absolutely…right. I’m not afraid of Jeff.”

She let out a huge sigh.

“I’m afraid of Me.”

**

Confrontation is a challenge. It’s an opportunity for personal growth. For Jamie, confrontation helped her defeat the giants of anxiety and shame that had held her captive her entire life.

What about you? Do you deal with shame, anxiety, self-doubt or people pleasing?

If you ignore these invisible giants and allow intimidation to dictate your actions, you’ll remain in bondage as the roots of anxiety and shame grow even deeper. But I have good news. God wants you to overcome!

Ask Him to show you when you’re cowering to your internal critic. Ask him to show you when fear threatens to rob your worth.

When you recognize that your battle is not so much with the other person as it is with yourself, with God’s help, you can take back your confidence!

Mind if I ask you a couple of questions?

Are there internal giants you need to face?

How does the perspective that you might be more afraid of yourself than others challenge you?

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16 Responses to The Truth About Confrontation

  1. Sherri July 21, 2022 at 9:54 am #

    Spot on thank you !!

    • Stephanie Miller August 6, 2022 at 8:25 pm #

      I’ve not learned how to handle confrontation well. It wasn’t demonstrated good at all. I can confront some issues at work but but I’m my love life. That’s why I’m divorced twice and my current boyfriend and I are going through something that only I see is a problem.

      • Christy Johnson August 8, 2022 at 1:14 pm #

        The more emotionally involved we are the more difficult it is to handle confrontation. I suspect that’s why issues at work are easier for you to deal with. The fear of abandonment or rejection can cause us to avoid confrontation, but it’s not healthy. Confrontation isn’t pleasant, but a healthy relationship can withstand it.

  2. Laverne July 21, 2022 at 10:15 am #

    My internal giants are/were fear, anxiety, people pleasing. Although I am working on this through therapy, now that I have started to speak up, I still feel guilt for saying no. I still feel bad and embarrassed when others are disappointed in me for not doing what pleases them, even when it makes me uncomfortable.

    • Christy Johnson July 21, 2022 at 10:25 am #

      I’m glad you’re working on squashing your giants. The more you look for opportunities to be authentic, the guilt and embarrassment fade, and the easier it gets.

    • Linda Zibaya July 21, 2022 at 12:15 pm #

      Spot on

  3. Lori July 21, 2022 at 10:22 am #

    I was always scared to let others down, but never scared to let myself down. So I did – over and over. To the point I’m divorced now and wondering where did I go?

    • Christy Johnson July 21, 2022 at 10:26 am #

      We often think it’s easier to bear the weight of disappointing ourselves, rather than others. It’s true in the short run, but the long term effects of bearing the burden are too heavy. Lesson I learned the hard way.

  4. Cathy July 21, 2022 at 12:13 pm #

    Christy, what an eye opener!! Coming out of an emotionally abusive marriage of 37 years 6 years ago, I was afraid of his responses when I’d confront him. I’ve noticed in these 6 years I’ve been growing more confident in myself with people, but not all people. I am harder on myself than other people. My family and church family have been great support, but the biggest support I have is my growing a stronger relationship with the Lord.
    I was drawn to your articles, but, a lot I couldn’t connect to, until this article.
    I’ve had one close relationship with a male friend, on and off for 2 years. We really were good for helping each other grow from toxic relationships. But, he actually ended it for good when we finally had a confrontation he couldn’t deal with. It was a STRONG Biblical deception he had that he won’t let go of. I wasn’t afraid of him or me in this case. So, I’m growing.
    But, now I see when I am afraid to confront ANYONE, it’s me I’m dealing with, and can be more confident to go forward in mercy, grace, and wisdom with Jesus right there guiding me, and supporting me

    • Christy Johnson July 21, 2022 at 12:26 pm #

      Unfortunately, confrontation sometimes ends relationships. Confrontation is a good way to test the strength of a relationship. Wise people listen to others, but fools think their own way is right(Proverbs 12:15).

  5. C July 21, 2022 at 1:12 pm #

    Hi Christy,
    Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom and insight.
    I have been in a verbally and physically abusive marriage for 15 years. On April 13 of this year I ran from my husband in fear for my life at 3am in the morning. Since then I have done a lot of thinking and with that comes fear of confronting him due to not knowing if he will react in anger or out of love. I have tried but he does not admit to his abuse and blames it all on me for leaving him emotionally years ago which is not true.
    I had been trying over and over.
    He wants to work on getting back together and glorifying God through it even though he started sleeping with someone immediately after I left and we decided to separate.
    My fear is going through the divorce and asking for what I deserve and not knowing how he will retaliate is making me procrastinate.
    I also want to do what is right and know God hates divorce but I also feel God does not want me to live in a marriage of fear and that kind of abuse. Never knowing what the day will bring.
    I need to face my giants!!!! God help me!
    I could use some Prayers for strength wisdom and direction from God.

    • Christy Johnson July 21, 2022 at 2:42 pm #

      Your H has shown by his actions that he is not safe or trustworthy or faithful. God values your safety over a covenant and allows for divorce because of the hardness of men’s hearts. Filing for divorce will have consequences, and it’s not easy, but going back to abuse is not a wise decision.

  6. Flacagorda July 21, 2022 at 3:01 pm #

    For me I’ve always confronted the person but when reading this story, I’ve never confronted myself. I hid behind accusations and blame but never seen who was the originator of the problem… ME. I approached a person about a problem, and when they said “you are the problem by talking to other and not letting it go”. I felt a huge shame, cuz they were right. For the first time it made me look at self, the mirror was right in my face looking at ME and what I needed to confront… MYSELF!

    • Christy Johnson July 21, 2022 at 3:20 pm #

      I’m so glad this different perspective was helpful to you!

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