Of confrontations and what it brings about…

After watching a replay of one of my favorite daytime television shows and seeing one of the characters put someone in a very compromising position, I decided to create this write-up about being confrontational.

Is being confrontational a good thing? If you really wanted to get a question answered or an issue fixed and need that right away, is that an excuse to be confrontational?

I looked up the word confrontational in Google (to make sure my understanding of it is correct) and it is defined as an adjective which means” tending toward or ready for confrontation or conflict”.

In the Philippine setting, it is quite common that people would rather keep to themselves (or confide in other people) rather than actually talking to the person involved. Although the motive, which is not to hurt someone’s feelings, is noble; the effect is quite the contrary.

This happens because “other” people (and the numbers usually add up) are now made aware of the problem and yet the person directly involved isn’t! This then creates a ripple and normally the ending isn’t very nice - at times the devastation created can be likened to a tsunami even!

But, is our society ready for the kind of scenes mostly shown on foreign television? Where people really sit down and talk face to face about problems, actually curse each other in the process and then walk away without any bitter emotions? Or are we still too closed-minded that we cannot accept constructive criticism as a way to improve and develop ourselves?

Would we rather hear all the good praises and just leave out the negative comments just because it leaves a bad taste in the mouth and is noise to the ears? Is sugar-coating always a better option than honesty?

When we were yet kids, we were always taught to speak only the truth, even our church’s doctrines corroborate this and yet when we become adults (and apparently should KNOW better), it all disappears. Does our culture initially mold us to be honest but in the end expect us not to be? Ironic, isn’t it?

If you knew a colleague was doing something wrong and you could correct it, would you tell the person he was wrong? The right answer would be a resounding yes of course! Then all other things factor in, like, when is the best time and place to do it, how to do it properly and then of course how your colleague would react soon after.

Without even doing anything yet, your mind goes into a state of conundrum and whatever principles you hold dear to you are at their ultimate testing ground. And true enough, talking to another person actually takes the weight off a bit because there is no fear of being rejected or being thought of as being harsh since most often than not, the other person just hears you out and actually agrees. You then have an ally who backs you up and you’ve just started a vicious cycle which creates a toxic environment.

If on a braver note, you decide to tell your colleague the problem regardless of how he takes it, you only need to find the perfect timing and the perfect words to use. If the other person takes it nicely and does not hold any grudges then well and good! You have a lighter weight on your shoulders and have technically passed it on to the person involved who either opts to take it maturely or sees you as an ass who should mind your own business. Either way, you’ve done your part with good motive and just wish for good change to happen.

So does this mean, being confrontational, although the road less taken; is actually the right path? I guess it depends still on one’s motive and application.

If you are well-meaning and approach the person properly, your cause should yield positive results. But if your only motive is to make the other person feel diminutive about himself, then your negative cause will reap negative effects.

After all, no matter how cliché it may seem – you always reap what you sow!

nmed 06/07/13 3:08pm


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