Advice – When You Need to Decide to Confront or Not

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Your feelings are hurt. You're angry. Now what? I've been asked for help with this often. Here's my advice - to help you decide to confront or not.

Ooh, you can’t believe…

  • she said that.
  • you didn’t get invited.
  • they didn’t include your child.
  • he criticized your efforts after you tried so hard.
  • she told your secret.
  • he __________.

You’re hurt. Yes, you’re angry too.

So, now what?

Should you say something? Should you confront them or not?

Based on the fact that I’ve been asked about this more times than I can count . . . I thought you might like my advice on the subject.

Advice for When You Need to Decide to Confront or Not

There are three important questions to ask as you try to decide whether or not you should confront the person who hurt your feelings. What do I hope the outcome will be?

What do I hope the outcome will be? 

Think it through…

What will you say? How will you say it? Think about the tone of your voice and the words you’ll use.

How likely is it that will be the outcome?

Sure you hope it will go as you’ve imagined, but based on the person’s past reactions if you know them how likely is it you will get the reaction you’ve hoped for?

Be honest with yourself. Think through possible scenarios.

If you’re not likely to get the reaction you want . . . will it still be worth it?

If it doesn’t change anything.
If it hurts your relationship.
If it hurts your child’s friendships.
If they complain about you to others.
If ____________?

Are you willing to handle the potential results of the confrontation?

Will it be worth it if nothing changes?

What to Do If You Don’t Confront?

Pray – 

Pray to forgive.
Pray for peace.
Pray to let it go.
Pray for the situation to change.
Pray for the person to change.
Pray about ways you might be contributing to the situation.

Rethink your approach – 

This may be something you want to talk over with the person who hurt you, but go back to the beginning and think about ways you can talk with them without making it a confrontation. Be willing to listen. Maybe they are going through a very difficult time. Maybe they’re hurting. Maybe they need someone to listen with kindness and compassion.

Your feelings are hurt. You're angry. Now what? I've been asked for help with this often. Here's my advice - to help you decide to confront or not.

One More Thing – That’s IMPORTANT

Don’t talk about it with anyone else. 

Nothing tempts us to talk about others faster than hurt feelings. Resist the temptation. Once you’ve included other people it becomes harder to work things out. And no matter what you call it, you aren’t loving someone well when you’re talking negatively about them to others.

If you need to get advice from someone (not just complaining) talk with a Christian friend or mentor who has experience and is able to keep your situation to themselves.

Quotes to Inspire You

“Anger is a powerful motivator, but a poor strategist.”~Rob Jones

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” ~John Watson

Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise. Proverbs 13:10

“I don’t like that man, I must get to know him better.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional!” Max Lucado

So what do you think? How do you decide whether or not to move forward with confrontation?

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  1. I love that quote from Max Lucado – so, so true!
    I recall an incident many years back when my boss said hurtful, hateful things to me in anger, hoping I’d retaliate in kind so she would have more reasons to accuse. When I refused to engage in combat (yes, the Lord was convicting me here), she eventually backed down and calmed down. Amazing!
    Blessings, Deb, and thanks again for your inspiration!

    1. I’m generally a “slow to anger” kind of person, but when someone is verbally attacking it’s hard! So, trying to practice my advice I try to stay calm and give myself time to think about what my response will be it anything at all. Sounds like God gave you great restraint and blessed the situation. Blessings to you Martha!

  2. I’m not a confrontational person. Most of the time I spend time in prayer over any hurt feelings I have, and God seems to help me to forgive and the relationship moves on. I know I should address a situation when God has stirred in my heart to reach out to the person in an effort to make peace. I know it’s from him when it’s done through obedience and not anger. And then at least I have peace in my heart that I reached out and did my best to make amends. If the person doesn’t reciprocate, at least I have peace. I enjoyed this post Deb!

    1. I tend not to be confrontational as well, Valerie. And there is no better way to handle hurt feelings than to pray over them. I believe if I always remember to pray before speaking it would bless all my relationships. 🙂 Thank you, my friend!

  3. What a practical and helpful post, Deb!
    I’m sharing this today all over!
    And, I think it will benefit many folks!
    Love this quote – “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional!”
    Have a blessed day~

    1. Thank you, Melanie! I love that quote too. I think I should print it off and carry it around with me. 🙂 Blessings my friend!

  4. Isabelle Petit says:

    Great post Deb! We struggle sometimes on that subject as born again believer and this post address this subject well.

  5. Very well said,Deb! I was having coffee with a friend today who was asking my counsel on this very thing and we had an excellent conversation on it with many similar questions on my part. Some of the areas we talked about were her expectations and also the difficulty she experiences when any relationship is not really harmonious. Great topic!

  6. Deb, I have to admit that I’m not a fan of conflict. If I could avoid it I usually would but I’m learning to also pray through any unresolved feelings. In marriage, it’s especially hard for me to figure out what to address and what to let go. Remembering that my husband and I are on the same time usually puts things into perspective, making it easier to let go and forgive.

  7. Well, from someone who hates confrontation, this post hits home. My first thought is “choose your battles!” I pray as to whether the issue is actually worth confrontation…and when I feel I have clear directive one way or the other, I proceed. I must admit that I always hope I hear “Don’t confront!” LOL But, sometimes it is necessary…and with God by our side, He’ll give us the wisdom to choose.

    Blessings, Joan

  8. Such great advice. I know so many of us deal with issues like these from time to time. I think when you pray about it you will have that peace of just knowing what is the right thing to do.

  9. I am a non confrontational person, I tend to pray about it and let it go. I’m sure if I was under fire repeatedly I would say something; I just hope I would have enough patience to think before I spoke.

    Thank you for this encouragement, Deb. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

  10. Christine Malkemes says:

    Deb, love this post. A great reminder on what to do – and not do. I especially like the reminder not to tell everyone how we feel about the conflict thinking that’s going to resolve it. The more we talk the bigger the problem. I love it when I have to go to the Lord – sometimes it’s for correction and at other times it’s for counsel. Blessings, my sister, blessings. Chris