Concepts · thoughts

The fear of confrontation over conversation.

I am blessed to have some really great friends. I really am. Many girls struggle to find “real” girlfriends; ones you can talk to in a time of need, ones that don’t judge and understand, ones that really love and support you. My friends would give me the shirt off their back if I asked for it. They are all genuine individuals with great personalities and loving hearts. I haven’t had many issues with any of them, but I know that we could work through any issue if either of us became upset.

Knowing that they are all so important to me, I have done what I can to preserve, maintain and enhance our relationships. With one exception.

A close friend of mine has admitted many times that she hates confrontation. And I get it. I mean, why really enjoys confrontation?

But when an issue arises with someone like this, what is a person to do?

This fear of hers made me extra sensitive towards her feelings, which you would think would be a good thing, and maybe it was for a while. But year after year, I wanted to have a conversation with her to clarify some issues I was experiencing in our friendship. I was always too scared that I would lose her as a friend and never spoke up. Gradually, year after year, I hoped my issue would go away… but it never did.

Last week  we finally spoke about the issue. I was shocked when she brought it up before I had the chance to. What a relief! She was clearly also feeling what I was experiencing and brought it to light without me forcing the topic. My fear all along was that I would look confrontational and push her away, when really, all I wanted to do was communicate and clarify what was going on. It was during this conversation when I realized that I had helped the two of us reach a certain point in our relationship by not speaking up earlier. I was too afraid to speak up and got butterflies in my stomach when I thought about how the conversation could go wrong. Needless to say, I am elated with what happened.

The truth is, if she was not a good friend, our conversation could have ended our friendship. But this was not the case. If anything, we are now able to continue to grow as friends.

I am learning more and more that now is the time. Now is the time to do what you want. Now is the time to have conversations, as uncomfortable as they might be. Now is the time to try something you’ve always desired to do. Now is the time. Because the past is over, and the future is unwritten. Do it now, because right now is the perfect time.

Image: Daniel M Viero/Flickr

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