31 Oct Did you know that Confrontation Reduces Stress?
Avoiding an uncomfortable conversation at the office? Did you know that confrontation reduces stress? You may think that the opposite is true, but these three points may change your mind:
1. Reduction in Mental Stress: We all know that stress can literally kill us, and now we know how. When I was 7 years old my English teacher began yelling at my best friend, for no reason. I politely tapped her shoulder and told her that she wasn’t really angry with my friend. she was experiencing what my mum called ‘Displaced anger’. She burst into laughter, not only because it sounded ridiculous coming out of a child’s mouth, but because I was right. She was fuming all day, blood boiling rage and was dishing it out everywhere she could. It took a 7-year-old to point it out that unless she dealt with the core issue, her anger was sparking out of control.
Repressed emotions flood the bloodstream with cortisol and produces proteins that can cause lasting physical damage. A prolonged release of cortisol causes us to exist in a prolonged fight-or-flight state, which weakens our immune system. You may have experienced this yourself when you have been stressed out preparing for a much-needed holiday only to finally arrive at your relaxing destination …with a horrible flu.
2. Reduction in Relationship Stress: Through yet more personal experience I learned that confrontation builds stronger business and personal relationships. When I worked in the skincare industry, my goal was to create the ‘perfect hand cream”. I had to collaborate with several suppliers to achieve my goal, and when the creams were finally delivered I was so excited. Unfortunately, we soon noticed that the product was defective and the cream was leaking everywhere. I called each supplier who worked on the job – most companies blamed each other for the disaster. They blamed it on the wrong chemicals/ packaging/shopping/weather/and many other excuses. There was only one who didn’t run to blame another. He admitted where he was at fault and at the same time he asked if I had considered my part in this disaster.
Please pause for a moment and think about how risky that was. I could have taken serious offence considering I was his customer, and it could have meant a loss of my business, as well my temper. But in truth, he was right; it was my project and so it was my issue. I did not resent him, rather continued using his services in every company I worked for afterwards. I trusted him; I still do.
Have you ever heard the expression ‘we don’t know what we don’t know?’ The problem is that we cannot fix what we don’t know, so why not be the one to take the chance and grow the relationship by confronting the issue.
3. Confrontation Will Empower You!
It feels so good when you gather the courage to confront someone. By standing up for yourself will prove your strength to the one person that truly matters: yourself. I can give you countless examples of how this helps both myself and my clients, but the only way to prove it is to try yourself. Have that conversation that you are avoiding.
“Our conversations invent us,” explains Dr. Lerner. “Through our speech and our silence, we become smaller or larger selves. Through our speech and our silence, we diminish or enhance the other person, and we narrow or expand the possibilities between us. How we use our voice determines the quality of our relationships, which we are in the world, and what the world can be and might become. Clearly, a lot is at stake here.”
In addition to helping you feel proud of yourself, confrontation has a way to empower you through learning valuable lessons. When you face a difficult situation and listen to someone else’s opinion with an open mind, your chances of seeing a new perspective are very high. Personal growth can be measured by embracing other perspectives, to broaden our thoughts and share new ideas. Now, that is true empowerment.