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Everyday it becomes more apparent to me how uncomfortable so many people are with confrontation. And I do not mean full-on fighting or screaming matches; I mean simple conversations about our concerns. This applies to all aspects of our lives, but most importantly, close relationships, both platonic and romantic. It is time that we all stop being so defensive. In order to do so, it is time for us all to embrace a new perspective-- a perspective that shifts from a self-justifying and closed-off denial to one of showing appreciation to others for being vulnerable. We all know how hard it is to truly open up to someone we care about. For many of us, it is scary because we fear losing the other person. It takes effort and courage to be unapologetically honest. Although difficult, these conversations need to happen if you want relationships to last.  

 

Now, let’s focus on getting rid of the defensiveness that plagues us. 

 

Realize that addressing things that bother you (no matter how small) is a necessity to maintain a long lasting and genuine relationship. Every relationship we have in our lives has both good and bad-- and you must embrace it all. Acknowledge that addressing conflict within a relationship requires immense trust.  Appreciate that your loved one is being vulnerable and wants change. Personally, I take this desire for change as seeing someone wanting me in their life longer. Because, let’s face it, it is far easier to ignore any and all problems, but we all know this is ultimately more damaging. As someone who is usually the more confrontational friend, I appreciate my friends bringing up problems to me. I take this as a sign that they care. It is not an attack on me or my actions. It is a desire to better the relationship we have and there is something beautiful in that. The shift in perspective is all about realizing the motives behind wanting to respectfully make changes are pure, and can only be beneficial to your relationship. 

 

So, next time your friend, family member, or partner begins that serious conversation, remember the effort and courage confrontation takes, the purpose behind it, and the desired end results. Resist the urge to protect yourself and your ego. Embrace change and growth with all those you love. 

 

Anna Claire is a second year at UCSD, majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics. She loves to read, write, go on hikes and is passionate about social justice. Her favorite places to be are the beach or in the desert surrounded by Joshua Trees and a starry sky.
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