Fandango’s Provocative Question #98: To confront or ignore? THAT is the question!

To confront or not to confront is ALWAYS an issue in a relationship. Nor is it a question I could answer with a simple “yes” or “no.” Or even a single answer that could be applied to most people. Because (sigh) however inconvenient, everyone is different from everyone else.

There are people who prefer direct communication. I know I do. For all of you who prefer direct communication, thank you for letting communications be part of your daily life. It makes everyone’s world an easier place to live.

For those who hate confrontation, the ones who will shut down if you try a direct approach. These non-direct communicators are inevitably family members. Since I’ve always been the “family communicator” (a really common role for a middle child), I’ve spent my life trying to figure out how to tell someone what they should know. Some people don’t want to know. This is no problem with a friend with whom you don’t live and will never live, but gets a little bit trickier with people with whom you do live. Since many of us are living hip-to-hip with one or two other people, this kind of familial negotiation is how everyone stays sane. Sooner or later, the issues of daily life need to be worked out.

Try to not begin negotiations in the middle of a sporting event or favorite TV show. Avoid letting stupid stuff become a months-long soap opera. I think as we get older, we are better at avoiding melodramas. Call me crazy, but I genuinely believe adults can get along if they want to. Another brilliant thing I’ve learned is that everyone is easy to get along with if they can do whatever they want whenever they feel like it without taking anyone else’s feelings into consideration. This is fine for friends with whom you don’t live. It’s only when you see each other all the time, you might want to be a teensy bit more civil and compromising.

And this is why people live alone. It might get lonesome, but there’s nothing to argue about and no one to argue with.

Categories: #FPQ, Family, Fandango's One Word Challenge, Humor, Photography, Provocative Questions, Relationships, Word Prompt

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20 replies

  1. The key word is communicate there are always ways to make your feelings / positions known without confrontation. Now, having said that, good communication requires dialogue. Two ways; all parties have to be prepared to listen as well as speak. Else, it’s not communicating – it’s broadcasting.


  2. And you very concisely stated why I prefer to live alone. I’ve done my time in trying to be sociable, and I’m done. It’s too much like work to compromise, compromise and compromise; particularly when it seems like you’re the one doing ALL the compromising and the other party sits in their entitlement looking smug. I’ve also learned that I’m really really poor at communication. Nobody in my immediate family (including hubby) had the knack. We’d all go around pissed off a lot because we couldn’t (wouldn’t) ‘talk’ to each other without someone getting pissed off. Misunderstanding. If one has the skill at negotiation and communication, they’re blessed. I just hope they realize how much.


    • Garry, while professionally a great communicator, privately is anything but. He comes from a family where everyone fumes in silence. It drives me bonkers.

      I think, in our society — at least in your and my age groups — women seem to do the “compromising.” The thing is, just saying “the hell with it” and giving up is NOT a compromise. It’s giving up to avoid a fight, especially when you know from previous (many previous) experience(s) that no matter what you say, no matter how you say it, it’s going to end up as a fight. So you quit because it’s not worth it.

      In my personal experience — with three husbands — the best way to make a man happy is do everything HIS way ALL the time. Some of us really can’t do that. It’s just not in us.


  3. I think it wise to chose your battles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We may only intend to argue about important stuff, but that decision is often not made in the slightly-above-body-temperature moment of confrontation. You need to work on it all the time, not wait for the explosive moment. And sometimes, little things you’ve let go for a very long time — like decades — just pile up and it’s snap. We are off to the races.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmmm … let me get back to you on this …


    • There are so many good ideas, but we aren’t exactly perfect — and I’m not even sure what perfect IS. The easiest path is just letting it — and there are a LOT of its — go. Except one day, as one gets older and crankier, all the moment of taking a deep breath and stepping back make the top of your head blow up. Sometimes I think those moments are actually good because we all need to occasionally get all those collected little things fly free. Later, you can watch a good movie. Something funny. Mel Brooks comes to mind.


  5. I think of it more like “approach or avoid.” Confront has more of an edge to it, assumes I know what is best rather than I’m trying to figure this out with you. But either way, I certainly agree that we need to stop and think before beginning the conversation in the middle of a game or show!


    • I have discovered that the seventh inning stretch of ANY baseball game — or even the half-time of football is not an optimum moment. Though personally I’m not sure there IS an optimum moment. There’s all those times we just say “Aw, the hell with it” and grouch off to take care of whatever it is ourselves. Then there are the “I’m grumpy, tired, and it’s YOUR turn to (fill in the blank).”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I hate confrontations and avoid it as much as possible but sometimes the temptation to verbally thrash somebody is too strong to resist.😛


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