Confrontation doesn’t have to be about telling someone off or setting them straight.  It is really just looking at issues and solving problems by speaking up.  Widows have enough drama in their lives without having to deal with difficult friends and family.

Before you confront another person define the problem, separating the facts from the emotions they evoke.  Step back and see if there is a pattern to this problem.  The most important thing is to remember that you are looking for a solution, so express the problem in a clear, calm way, without blaming anyone.

Practice no-blame talking and listening by saying “Here is what I’m feeling, but I know that I may not have all the facts.” And then you listen, really listen to their response.

The focus should be on understanding each other’s feelings and thought process.  If you really give it your best shot and all they want to do is argue, then walk away.  Nothing gets solved when emotions are running too high.

Relationships are built on habits that capture how we feel.  There are habits/skills that can be used to reconnect with others instead of confronting them.  What if you flood them with praise, magnify the good in your relationship and overlook the problems?  When they start to believe you care, they will natural start acting in a more caring way.

Every time you invest in the negative, you are focusing on the faults and adding energy to the fragile parts of your relationships.  Is this what you want to do?  You don’t have to confront them, agree with them or think they are right or wrong in order to validate their feelings.  Reaffirming that you hear what they are saying is one of the best tools for reconnecting a relationship that is suffering.

Is this relationship/friendship worth saving?  Changing communication habits can take a lot of time and effort.  But letting them know that you hear them and respect their feelings, will make them feel part of your new life.

We have lost our husbands and are flying solo.  Yes, there are some issues that they may need to be confronted with, and if so then approach it with a desire to find a solution.  But there may also be some issues that are not worth the drama, and just need to be part of your past.

Mary Francis, The Sisterhood of Widows

#widows, #thesisterhoodofwidows, #grieving

  1. Luanne Reilly
    | Reply

    Mary Francis, thank you so much for your great advice which is always spot on and true!

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