How to Deal With Confrontation Anxiety

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How to Deal With Confrontation Anxiety

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Listen, it’s no secret that I hate confrontation. The feelings before, during, and after are very uncomfortable for me especially when I’m forced to confront someone. 

Sometimes before the confrontation, my anxiety levels quickly rise because I feel myself coming out of character to address something that made me feel some type of way in the first place. 

Now, I’m sure there are a lot of unconfrontational people that struggle with the fear of confrontation. Whether it’s avoiding confrontation in a relationship, avoiding confrontation at work, or avoiding confrontation with confrontational people, you just can’t win. 

What Causes Fear of Confrontation? 

Just recently, I was forced to deal with confrontation in the workplace, and boy, was it tough. I’m usually one of those non-confrontational personality peeps that’s very easy-going, laid back, an introvert at times, and avoids conflict at all costs. So you can surely imagine how that situation at work affected me in a negative way.


Fear of confrontation phobia and conflict anxiety disorder is real. Some people, like myself, are scared of dealing with conflict — especially when the end result is still unresolved or when it leads to intense fights. Sometimes, the fear stems from something happening when you were younger and it affects the way you grow up addressing things in life. 

As a child, I think my fear of confrontation stems from taking things personally, wanting to please other people, and putting other people’s feelings, needs, and thoughts above my own. As an adult, I am slowly unlearning some of those damaging habits of people-pleasing and prioritizing my own needs so my overall wellbeing doesn’t suffer.

Related Post: What No One Tells You About the Dangers of People Pleasing

Some other causes of fear of confrontation could be:

  • Rejection from the other party (unheard, ignored, feeling inferior)
  • Reaction of the other party (angry, aggressiveness, physical confrontation)
  • Confrontation phobia (depression, anxiety, mental, physical, & emotional distress, panic attacks)
  • Overthinking about the harm or outcome that will happen after the confrontation
  • Fear of failing or not being liked (lack of confidence)

Overcoming Fear of Confrontation

Try to dig deep and really understand why and where that fear of confrontation comes from in the first place. When you understand what that is, you can find a tactful way of effectively addressing it and setting yourself free.

Personally, the situation at work left me with so much anxiety before and after the confrontation. I was dealing with conflict phobia and overthinking about the outcome of what would happen after the confrontation. My mental health was playing a lot of mental tricks on me and making me believe in something that hadn’t happened yet. 

For days, I was trying to avoid the confrontation and the more I kept trying to avoid it, the more the anxiety of confrontation kept building up. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. Finally, I worked up the courage to confront someone at work. 


Although I was so nervous in the moment; after doing it, I felt a huge load lifted off of me. Though the first two days after the confrontation was awkward, the situation got a whole lot better now that the issue was resolved. I gained a lot of self-respect and was proud that I stood up for myself.

Why Confrontation is Good

Engaging in healthy conflict allows for maturity, honesty, and transparent conversations to take place and for all parties to come to some sort of resolution with the problem at hand. Healthy confrontation also allows for all parties to see how their actions affect the personal wellbeing of the one that’s being affected by the issue.  

When you confront someone, it’s actually best to consider these tips so that you can do so effectively, avoid confrontation anxiety, and get the resolution that you want:

Reframe your mind – everything bad you thought confrontation was, needs to be unlearned. Start by thinking that it’s OK to be unliked or disapproved when confronting someone. After all, you’re confronting the person for your own sanity and your overall health. If the other party rejects you during the confrontation, that is definitely a problem they’re dealing with and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. 

Your goal is to make your thoughts and feelings known so you can move on. To deal with confrontation phobia, try deep breathing exercises or meditation to calm yourself down before walking into an uncomfortable situation. Also, change your mindset by keeping a positive and productive outlook on the outcome of the confrontation.

Related Post: How to Stop Taking Things Personally

Plan ahead – think about the overall goal of why you wish to have this confrontation. What issues are you wanting to address? Write and list down the issues that have been bothering you in your heart so you can have something to reference in case you cannot find the words. Make sure to address only one or small issues at a time during the confrontation so that you do not lose focus on finding resolutions for that particular issue before moving on to the next issue. 

Be objective and fair – healthy confrontation is not about making someone feel bad or making them feel like they’re being attacked for doing you wrong. Do not bring a person down when confronting them. Come with an objective mind to resolve the issue at hand, not the individual. Everyone is not perfect, so treat this as addressing/attacking the issue, not the human itself.

Timing is everything – do not wait until all of your emotions fester up in a little bottle and topple over before deciding to confront someone. By waiting, you’ll only be hurting yourself more and more because you have to live and suffer in silence until the issue is resolved. 

I know it’s hard actually knowing when to confront someone, especially when you’re not wired to. But know that at some point, you have to find the confidence from within to do it and get what you want. 

If you are okay with how things are going and can overlook a person’s behavior of how they treat you, then that’s all you. But if you feel in your deepest of hearts that NO, it’s not fair how I am being treated and enough is enough, it’s time to reframe your thoughts, plan ahead, and confront the issue at hand so you can feel mentally free.


Communicate effectively – to confront a person wisely, you need to learn the art of effective confrontation. Start by using “I” statements.  An example of an “I” statement could be I feel uncomfortable with where things are headed rather than a “You” statement which sounds like an attack. 

An example of a “You” statement would be You never make feel comfortable with where things are headed. The key here is not to accuse or attack the person on how they make you feel, but you need to express what the actual problem is, how you feel about it, and how you want it to be resolved.

Another way to communicate effectively during confrontations is to just shut up and listen to the other party. The confrontation needs to be a two-way street so that both parties leave the conversation being heard, loved, and feeling good that issues have truly been resolved. 

How do you deal with Aggressive Confrontation? 

But what if you find yourself confronting someone who has an aggressive confrontation over a healthy confrontation? How do you confront someone with those characteristics of a confrontational person?

When confrontation goes wrong, your job is to remain calm and communicate your thoughts and feelings in a reasonable tone of voice. After some time, if you find that effective communication with an end goal is not happening, calmly walk away and address the issue another day when both parties are calm again. 

Like Michelle Obama says when they go low, we go high. Or in our case, when they are yelling and screaming their heads off to make a point, we remain calm, fully in control, and communicate effectively. When you lose control, you lose your power to communicate well, and as a result, your problem still remains. Moreover, yelling does absolutely nothing to resolve anything; it just makes all parties look hella crazy. 

Related Post: How to Control Your Anger Before It Controls You!

How do I get Better at Confrontation?

Confrontation is not easy to address or maneuver. As an introvert, it can be hard to muster up the courage to even want to confront a person. Try practicing with someone you trust first, before going out there and attempting it on the real person. If all parties are down after the confrontation, it’s also cool to check-in after some time has passed to see if there still is an issue or to discuss how to prevent the issue from ever happening again.

Confronting someone also begins with learning how to stand up for yourself. It takes a lot of self-confidence to learn how to stand up for yourself without being rude. Write down what you will gain when you do speak up about what is wrong. Trust me, you’ll feel encouraged and motivated to do it often. When you practice speaking up on issues that are wrong, your confrontational skills will elevate your resume so you can handle more challenging situations in the future. 

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Now Let’s Discuss:

How do you deal with confrontation anxiety? 

Do you have a fear of confrontation? If so, how do you overcome it?

Please let me know what you think down in the comments below.

Also, if you think this article was helpful, please don’t forget to share this with your homies and subscribe down below for more content like this!

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Josie D. is a content writer and editor. She's passionate about encouraging millennials to practice genuine self-care. She also wants to help millennials dress the part, travel to cool places, and feel good about themselves! 💕✨

44 thoughts on “How to Deal With Confrontation Anxiety

  1. Great post! I agree many of us dislike confrontation and may get anxious but some times they are needed. Totally believe that timing is everything!

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes, confrontation is hard for me because of all of the other feelings it brings with it but it is definitely needed at times xxx

    1. Yess it is so important to be prepared in case you feel yourself losing control of the situation, so you know what your back up plan is just incase xxx

  2. I struggle with confrontation in all areas of my life and usually try to avoid it at all costs. However, I know this is not for the best. Thank you for sharing these ideas, pinned it!

    1. Man I definitely feel that on all fronts! When you’re not a confrontational person, it can be hard to figure out how to go about it. I hope this article was able to help you some xxx

  3. I do everything possible to avoid any confrontations. I still do, to be honest. However, I have learnt that to breathe and listen carefully to what has been said and try not to react too quickly.

    1. Same, unless someone pushes my limits lol. Yes, that’s how I go about it, I take everything in, try to see the other person’s perspective, figure out what I have to say in a professional manner if I’m forced to confront and just wait it out xxx

  4. I feel this in a deep level! I am a recovering people pleaser and speaking my mind can be really tough when it might upset someone else. Great tips I will definitely need to revisit!

    1. Man, I don’t think anyone will understand how tough it is for recovering people pleasers like ourselves to speak our minds. If not because we care about how that would make the other party feel, people will definitely know all of the thoughts I’ve been holding back lol jk xxx

    1. Aw that’s really dope to hear that it brought some sort of insight for dealing with confrontation. Thank you for stopping by xxx

  5. I really hate confrontation without really knowing why. I thought it was part of me being kind of a pacifist person, but know I see that there is also fear of rejection, judgement, being attacked etc… Thanks for sharing, this post was really helpful, I hope it will help me deal with my future confrontation x

    1. Yes, I used to be in that same mindset but then when I dug deeper, I realized that it stemmed from something much deeper. I hope this has helped you some. Thanks for stopping by xxx

    1. Thanks so much!! Yess timing is a must when it comes to confronting someone. If you do it at the wrong time, it produce a negative effect and if you do it at the right time, you will (hopefully) get the result you’re looking for xxx

  6. This is extremely helpful! I also do not like confrontation at all – but I feel like after spending so much time in deep reflection and following your own personal beliefs and values.. it becomes easier to stand up for yourself. Your confidence grows and you realize just how important your inner peace is.

    1. Yea, I noticed that as I get older, the easier it becomes to stand up for yourself and you start caring less about how it affects other people and more about how it’s affecting your peace of mind. Thank you for your thoughtful insight xxx

  7. Thank you so much for this post! I hate confrontation more than almost anything. I have definitely gotten better about it since I was younger, but I still have a lot to work on! This post is so helpful 🙂

    1. Yayy, I’m so glad to be of service and I’m very happy to hear that it’s been helpful. Yes, we are all a work in progress. As long as we don’t give up and fight for what we believe in, we can anything xxx

    1. Man, tell me about it! The anxiety is probably the worst part of it all. And once you confront someone, the feeling right after leaves me anxious as well; but then I start feeling better that I stood up for myself xxx

    1. Yesss, you are so right. The why is literally the foundation to understanding the problem one has with confrontation. Thanks for stopping by xxx

  8. This is so lovely, Josie, I admire how you’re able to address such unique yet important topics! I definitely struggle with this one too, I hate conflict and will go so far to avoid it. Well-written, friend!

    1. Thank you so much sis 💕!! Yes conflict is not only an external but an internal one that we hope to overcome someday. Thank you for stopping by xxx

  9. Great post, Josie! I am sort of comfortable with confrontations as I prefer discussing even the most sensitive stuff in person. But, sometimes, my emotions really get the best of me :<

    1. Ooh I love hearing your perspective and how comfortably you are able to deal with confrontation. I think emotions getting involved might partially to blame for why I avoid confrontation at all costs. Thanks for sharing xxx

  10. I was never one to sugarcoat anything I had to say. It was always ‘this is the reality, no matter if you like it or not’, especially with my bosses. Perhaps I was lucky, too; most of them accepted the things as they were. But you are right, there are situations and situations, plus each person has their own personality. It seems you are in a good and comfortable place. This is beautifully written!

    1. Wow, I need your spirit when dealing with confrontation. I wish I could say things freely and not sugarcoat as much. But yes, in certain situations, you may find yourself having to stand up for yourself especially when it threatens your peace of mind or it deals with injustice. Thanks for sharing xxx

    1. Aw thank you so much!! Yes, please share as much as you can to anyone who needs this. Thank you so much for reading/commenting and stopping by xxx

    1. ooh, yessss that’s an interesting balance which I think I am trying to adopt. Though I avoid confrontation at all cost, I feel like I have to confront people or stand up for myself when things are getting out of hand and people are misusing my kindness as weakness xxx

    1. Man, workplace confrontation is probably the worst of them all. Because one – you don’t know these people like that, two – you have to see them all of the time and you still have to work with them, and three – after you do confront coworkers, you have to brace yourself in case things get awkward or uncomfortable. It absolutely sucks! Thank you for stopping by xxx

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