Lamentations of the Assertively Challenged

I think I am allergic to confrontation. Seriously. It makes me sick.

My hands warm until they are icy cold, and my face flushes. The butterflies flit around in my stomach something akin to Snow White’s woodland paradise. Their wings beat against my insides until my head swims and I can feel the faintest taste of bile rising in my throat. My ears roar, and I detest the tinny sound of my own voice forcing words into the air. The moment feels surreal, as if I were having some sort of paranormal experience. I have these weird  thoughts dancing about  my head reminding me that this moment actually is a part of my life, reality, and not some out of body experience.

Knowing that I cannot possibly confront someone in such a state, I usually retreat to a private place.  I will rehearse my speech until it sounds polished, well reasoned and eloquent. I will stare down the face in the mirror,  and with steely-eyed confidence present my argument. I will present it over and over, ironing out every kink and reasoning through every counter argument.

The problem is that once I have rationalized my case, I suddenly decide it was no big deal. Then, what was planned to be a forty-five minute sit down, becomes a two minute aside. It is then that I am ready.

I see the person, and suddenly my two minute speech even seems to be too aggressive. I end up settling for a quick offhand joke, or a conversational aside said with a pleasant smile. “Hey, next time could you just…. Thanks , I appreciate it.”

Or maybe I will say nothing at all. Maybe, I rationalize, I made much ado about nothing. And so it goes until I am a tortured being, a victim of my own peaceable nature.




2 thoughts on “Lamentations of the Assertively Challenged

  1. Agreed! Confrontations are definitely difficult, as we think so much about the other person, and yet disregard our own happiness. When all that is required is for us to speak our mind. But of of course, it may, and usually, never does come out the right way.

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