Being Confrontational Has Improved My Mental Health

Being upfront and honest with people is often difficult in a world of texting, social media, and general passive and superficial social interactions—which, in the long run, cause things like having deep, awkward, face-to-face confrontational conversations to be that much harder.

Certainly, to some extent, these types of vulnerable, and often hurtful, interactions have always been difficult for people to do; however, it seems as though people of our generation have a much tougher time confronting people about things that have hurt them, and so we often react in very poor ways, or we bottle it up inside until it all bursts out of us (and often explodes onto someone else).

Image source: Pexels 

I, myself, used to be the purely ‘nice’ girl, who never said what was on her mind and always got trampled over, only to end up with a bruised heart and a mind full of, “You should have said something.” I was the one who never confronted anyone and always held everything in, which gave me massive amounts of anxiety when I would actually be forced to confront someone about something.

But then, one day, I spoke up.

I truly believe I lashed out at the person in ways that I had never done before (which is definitely not my recommended way of doing things). However, I realized that actually saying what was on my mind and telling the person how they had been hurting me gave me so much more relief than just internally forgiving the person and moving on.

Especially because, to be quite truthful, I am a person who internalizes everything. I do so, and then I think about the same thing over and over again, until I am consumed with this one hurtful statement — perhaps even with just something rude that someone said which I felt was unjustly damaging another person entirely.

And so, after this realization, I became confrontational; I became the person who said what was on their mind. I became the person who didn’t hold everything in. And you know what? It felt pretty amazing.

Image source: Pexels

Not holding everything in and becoming confrontational (and, at times, a bit brazen) made every difference in the world to my mental health and personal anxiety because it meant that people actually had to own up to mean or rude things that they said or did to me.

It meant that, whereas before I was the only one apologizing for wrong things that I did, now people were apologizing to me when I confronted them about it. Also, it meant that I had a much easier time sticking up for people or for my own morals and beliefs when no one else would.

Keep in mind, however, that saying what you truly feel to other people, especially in a one-on-one conversation, is really, really hard, especially when you don’t have practice. So, if you are like the old version of myself and always hold back, just try confronting someone alone one time—it will be difficult, but telling someone that you didn’t appreciate how they treated you, and most likely getting the apology you deserve, is so much more gratifying than actually holding it in.

Just remember to be strong, have courage, and keep in mind that you deserve so much more respect than you may think you deserve. I promise that it will all be alright.

Melissa is currently an English major at the University of California, Davis and, in addition to this, she is pursuing a minor in Economics. Melissa currently has a part-time job on campus in addition to writing for hercampus.com. You can follow her on instagram at melissa_hosking

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