Confrontation: (n) a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties
Sometimes I think Mr. Webster’s had a bad day.
Yet I guess those who put together the dictionary try to reflect the mood of the society in which we live. Somewhere along the line we’ve begun to believe that “I don’t agree with you, I don’t appreciate that, I don’t understand,” and “I hate you” all mean the same thing.
Each one signifies a different human emotion. Therefore, each one has to be handled at the level of confrontation it presents.
Let’s start with Number 1.
- “I don’t agree with you. “
Honestly, this is a confrontation. It may limit immediate harmony but it is not without the potential for conversation, compromise and resolution. Matter of fact, we might consider it essential to the climate of a democracy.
- “I don’t appreciate that.”
This is a different level of confrontation. It is objecting to how something was handled. It is not terminal to a relationship–it merely sets a timeclock for interaction, sensitivity and reconciliation.
- “I don’t understand.”
Also a form of confrontation. This states clearly that what was stated is not clear. It is asking for additional information. It is not a personal attack, nor is it a judgment of the original idea. Clarification.
- “I hate you.”
This is what Mr. Webster envisioned when offering his definition. But “I hate you” has little to do with a desire to create an exchange of ideas and a communion of souls. It is a giant leap into the fiery pit of hell where all hatred dwells.
I believe in confrontation.
Without it, we live in a world of insincerity, in which gossip becomes the only way we express our true feelings.
(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)