If the mere thought of the word 'conflict' makes you cringe, you are sabotaging your self-confidence!
I was thinking long and hard about what could be my first post on self-confidence, it was starting to get really confusing. The reason I wanted to blog about self-confidence in the first place is simply that I have lost a lot of it over the past few years. And it sucks.
So I am telling you right now. If you are trying to gain back some of your lost confidence you need to have a person who is extremely confident around you and you need to observe him/her very closely. For me this amazing opportunity of a test subject (haha, just kidding!) was my boyfriend.
Here is my biggest observation so far:
Confident people don't avoid conflict!
I used to be mad at him all the time because it seemed to me that he was always trying to heat up a conversation between friends, expressing his opinions a little too forcefully for my taste.
For example, it was a common thing to have someone nonchalantly make a smart comment on a subject just to find himself cornered by my boyfriend and having to build up a proper argument to back up his opinion.
For a while, I thought it was an unnecessary defense mechanism and I was always on his throat about it.
“Why can’t you just go with the flow and avoid conflict! It’s such a mood killer!”, I used to argue all the time.
“Because I will speak my mind whenever I think I need to and if I have a good argument I am going to put it on the table. Let them try to sway me, I have no problem with that. And you shouldn’t have either.”
What I thought before I tried his approach to conflict
I am not a confrontational person at all!
I don’t need to express an opposite opinion – I keep my beliefs to myself
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they don’t have to agree with mine so I won’t bother mention it.
I don’t want to kill the mood for our friends.Everyone is going to be watching us and they might feel uncomfortable.
Even if someone’s opinion seems really wrong to me, what if I can’t find the words to express my arguments?
I’m really not good at expressing myself under pressure.
I don’t want to come across as obnoxious. Especially if there are new people around that might get the wrong impression
5 Reasons why I finally decided to try it
- Not expressing an opinion in fear of not starting a fight makes you look boring!
- You can spark someone’s interest without even trying
- Your friends won’t get uncomfortable, irritated or insulted if you act civilized and keep your tone light and not agressive.
- It helps you not to look awkward and it’s an interesting way to lead a conversation
- It gives you an instant boost of confidence to last the whole day!
This approach really gave a boost to my self-confidence
I feel way calmer now and more in control
Seeing people argue doesn’t affect me as much and I am still able to focus on what’s being said
I can react confidently now that I know that taking sides is a safe and reversible process.
I feel better showing others that I am open to discussion and that I value their feedback.
More often than not there will be someone that agrees with you and that’ll make you feel accepted and appreciated
I don’t feel trapped or less confident if I can’t find a way to respond immediately to someone. I slowly became better and better at verbalizing & exploring concepts as the conversation evolves.
It’s up to you whether this approach to conflict works or not.
As long as you learn to use it wisely and effectively, it can make a huge difference on your life.
Make sure to do the following during a possible conflict, even if you decide just to avoid it in the end:
- talk with a calm, assertive voice
- breath and pause to think if necessary
- don’t interrupt others
- laugh or smile when you find a chance to
- if you can’t think of the word you need, ask aloud
- explicitely state that you are not offended by a comment even if the other party’s intention was to make you feel uncertain or make fun of you.
- always take the lead and end the conflict on a possitive note and on your own terms. It’s not about who won or lost the argument, but it’s about taking initiative and owning your thought process
I hope you found this post useful. Till next time.