Put your gloves on. Or don’t.

We should expect confrontation all our lives. We can’t sit back after having it out and think ‘that’s over, no more.’ We are going to be up against things, be made to face things, be open and truthful, and express our feelings and thoughts for as long as we live. It’s inevitable.

Every single person is unique and is made as such. We are all human, we all have to live and make a living. And what comes with living is that we are not perfect. As much as we strive to be the best versions of ourselves, and promote the great attributes we have, we all make mistakes and we are not perfect. We should not put that pressure on ourselves.

There are fundamental differences in people’s values, attitudes, and beliefs. When you combine this with the great variability in the experiences we all go through in life, you come out with even more disparity amongst people. The uniqueness that we each possess is heightened with our varying life experiences.

Confrontation is pretty flipping painful. You think there is a way around it; a way to mitigate the pain, to soften the emotions, to reason away the controversial thoughts or opinions. But there so often isn’t. Confrontation requires honesty, with a significant amount of tact, care and love in addition.

It also requires vulnerability. If we want someone to understand our point of view and our feelings, then we cannot shy away from opening up about why we feel the way we do. Something must explain our thoughts and opinions, and often it can be the touch of something deep within us. We may not even be aware of the deep and intimately personal beliefs we hold that colour our thoughts and attitudes. It does no justice to remove someone’s chance at understanding where you’re coming from, and this is particularly true in a confrontation.

But there would be no reconciliation, no resolution, no peace making without looking at the other side of the story. You need to look at someone else’s point of view in a confrontation. You need to gather and consider the other person’s thoughts and feelings. But more than that, you need to think about all the things that happen in order for those thoughts and feelings to exist. What experiences has that person had? What are they going through currently? What needs and desires are they rightfully entitled to have satisfied? You cannot expect to be met halfway, or to make peace, or come to a mutual and harmonious understanding without giving weight to the other party’s side. And it’s not going to be easy, but as a human being, a lover, it’s so worth it.

And loving is what it is all about. Out of love comes care, and caring is sometimes the root of the very problem that leads to confrontation. Something happens that might not be what you expect and your reaction may not be what that person needs, but it came out of your care and love for them. But if you don’t handle yourself with even more care and love, and quite importantly, consideration for them and their position, then the confrontation can be exacerbated, and the road to reconciliation just gets that much longer.

It is never going to be easy, but that can be what makes it worth it. Be caring and loving; be kind.