Posts tagged: Confrontation

How to leave when you know it’s time to go

My first marriage was to someone who turned very quickly from composed, passionate, and loving into someone else. Helplessly, I watched as she struggled with countless and difficult challenges. She always perceived herself as a victim, suffered from low self-esteem, was absolutely terrified of abandonment, lived in constant chaos, and more.

How did I fall in love with and marry her? Aside from her two adorable kids, she had another complicating trait— she is a chameleon, always being who you want her to be. She became the woman I wanted to marry…only, beneath it all, she wasn’t really that someone.

It took me a while to figure out what was going on. But, at the same time, I came to love her two children; I became a father figure to them, which was something that I craved, and I thrived in that role.

Despite these reasons, it still took me three years
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Are you driven by love or fear?

love or fear

Life is complicated — but your motivation isn’t. Without exception, every action we take is motivated either by love or by fear. For example:

• Acting weird around someone we’re not sure about: Fear (What if we don’t get along? I don’t want to feel disliked by someone I don’t really connect with.)

• Offering constructive criticism, even though it makes you sweat: Love (I want this person to do well. I won’t withhold the information he needs to do that.)

• Telling someone it’s okay, even though you think it probably isn’t: Fear (I’m not sure how to tell him otherwise. He might react badly. I don’t want to feel bad about it.)

• Sharing the responsibility for a situation your partner created: Love (I care about improving this situation, for everyone involved. Blaming her for it won’t help change things.)

Whether it’s an everyday quibble (your boyfriend is being difficult) or a really big deal (your
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Bad ways to make a good impression

Every so often we find ourselves out of our element when we’re in a situation with other people and feeling unsure. Could be anything, really. Meeting with new business acquaintances. Attending someone else’s family picnic. Caught in a group share-a-thon.

Before panic takes over, we search for a way to fit in. Most likely, we summon lessons of yore, some steadfast this-is-how-you-act-so-people-will-think-well-of-you belief.

Then, finally, the incident is over. We got through it and that’s that. We ignore the smidge of discomfort that’s telling us we may not have made the best impression. Relief often overpowers the desire to reflect.

So let’s pause here for a moment.

Now that we’re feeling balanced again, we have an opportunity to revisit how we act in uncomfortable situations — especially if, deep down, we wish we had a better answer.

To get started on updating your response, here are nine go-to beliefs that can give the opposite impression
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You’re overwhelmed — so why won’t you ask for help?

Lone Leader overwhelmed

Leading by doing — we could write the book. We see the big picture, organize the details, meet the deadlines, and never let them see us sweat.

Yep, we’re on top of it all the time…except when a task veers beyond our arsenal of expertise. But that rarely happens. And since we’re so good at figuring things out, we soldier on, on our own. Until we can’t.

Sometimes the task is too foreign, the time too short, the energy too finite to pull it off. And then we’re stuck acting like a Lone Leader, trying to operate without the necessary support.

There are at least three reasons a Lone Leader prefers to operate solo, even when overwhelmed. Knowing which one you’re prone to is the first step toward being able to issue an SOS. Take our mini-quiz to find out your
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Coworkers won’t communicate? Break out the Tip Cards

Evie Racette is a straight shooter.

Bred in the Midwest, she was raised to speak her mind. But these days, as the new town manager of Pinetop Lakeside, a resort town in Arizona’s White Mountains, she finds herself in a communication conundrum. How can she introduce necessary change if she can’t talk freely with her coworkers?

“I just took the position in October, and I’ve felt resistance,” she explains. “In the southwest you couch everything you say, and that’s been hard for me.”

Then she came across Unstuck’s new Tip Cards, and it dawned on her that the cards might tackle the elephants in the office using a process that suited the culture.

“I thought it would be a great resource for the staff. I saw it as problem solving in a removed way.” Evie says. “We all have interpersonal issues, and sometimes that’s not easy to share with your manager. The
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6 steps to defuse a drama queen and get your life back

"Difficulty is inevitable. Drama is a choice." —Anita Renfroe

Stuck moment: Oh no. She’s calling AGAIN. At midnight! I wonder what her freak-out is this time… More boyfriend drama? Her boss has a concern about her project proposal? That “weird” headache she had last week is back? I guess I better answer, or I’m in for a guilt-trip next time I see her.

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Like many things in life, our relationship with drama is a cultural paradox.

When we’re safely on the sidelines, drama queens can be funny or fascinating. We breathlessly track the on-screen exploits of the Real Housewives. Look for outrage in sensationalized headlines. Eagerly tune into the weatherman’s promise of a storm of a lifetime. We’ve got no problem with hyperbole and hysteria — as long as it’s not in our backyard.

But plant these tribulations in our own lives, and it’s not nearly so much
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Finding: Being ignored is bad for your health

When Patrick Swayze tells Jennifer Gray “No one puts Baby in a corner” in the classic movie Dirty Dancing, he spoke a fundamental truth: It’s just not worth it to let yourself be ignored. And science concurs with art: Research at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business finds that feeling excluded at work can harm your health, job satisfaction, and overall psychological well-being. In fact, social ostracism in the workplace is more damaging than harassment.

So while it might be easier to respond to on-the-job conflict by discretely tucking yourself into the corner, it’s better to stand up and face it head on. You’ll have greater self-esteem, and you’ll be more likely to get what you need.

For tips on how to confront with confidence, check out “How to stop being a reluctant confronter” by the Unstuck
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Question: What do you risk when you ask for help?

We all want to be a rock star in what we pursue, and that appears to be a solo act. So if we ask for help we might have to share the stage. We might appear less competent or imperfect. Worse of all, someone might shine brighter than we do.

Those fears are real, but they’re not reality. The truth is, if you don’t get the help you need, you might not achieve your goal as well as you’d like — or at all. You lose the chance to learn, to be generous, to build comaraderie. But you do get to own the stress, 100 percent.

Unstuck’s “Call in the Cavalry” tool lets you figure out what kind of help you need. If you’re on your iPad, click to go directly to the tool (this won’t work if you’re using Unstuck on the web). Or download the free Unstuck iPad app
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How to stop being a reluctant confronter

Stuck moment: I’m kind of fed up. My boss takes the credit for my ideas. My coworker goes on and on about her boyfriend drama. My friend never returns anything she borrows… I want to say something, but I just can’t! 

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When people behave in ways that bother us — a callous comment, an interruption, a self-appointed license to take what’s ours without giving back — why do so many of us find it easier just to let it go? We make excuses for the other person. Or we pretend to shrug it off, though the behavior continues to niggle us, deep in our thoughts. Worse, we start avoiding the other person. Complaining behind her back, resenting her. But we never speak up.

Those negative feelings don’t go away because we suppress them. Sometimes they poison a once-wonderful relationship. Or, our mind starts to run on a victim script: I’m
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“Why didn’t you tell me?” — Little stuck moments you didn’t know you had

Stuck moment: Oh wow. I didn’t realize that people in the office stopped asking me to play tennis because I take the fun out of it by correcting and analyzing their game. I just thought I was being helpful. I wish someone had told me.

We all have blind spots, little behavioral lapses we aren’t aware of.  Often they’re small and seem unimportant to mention — for example, an inability to take a compliment, which can make others feel awkward, too; or a self-appointed role as Emily Post, which paints everyone (except us) as gauche; or a tendency to always naysay, which we think is being helpfully realistic, but can be a killer weed to others’ hopes.

Whatever our foibles are, we mean well. And the people who really know us — especially those who love us — know we mean well, too. Which is why they find it hard to tell
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