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Dealing With Confrontation

Updated on February 4, 2012

"When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation."

-Alexander Hamilton

We all experience it on different levels. It happens at work, on facebook, at home, or while driving. Some people thrive on confrontation, they live for it. Others avoid it at all costs. When confronted, reactions vary. For some, the first instinct is to lash out, cursing and screaming because they know no other way.

Then there are the instigators; these people love other people’s confrontations. They will poke and prod each side until a breaking point, and then they sit back and enjoy the show.

There are well documented cases of classic confrontations, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had a long standing feud, during the 1796 presidential campaign things got ugly as allegations and accusations were tossed around. Both felt honor had to be restored. This famous confrontation ended in a duel, with Burr shooting and ultimately killing the outspoken Hamilton.

Today however, it seems the slightest infraction can be grounds for retaliation. A look in the wrong direction or a gesture interpreted as a slight can set off a violent reaction. The unfortunate reality is, those who are so adamantly concerned about being disrespected do some hardly respectable things.

Reading the headlines, one can't help but to be amazed by the actions of others. For instance, there's the grandmother who was dragged by her hair and beaten at a Detroit Chuck E Cheese. Her offense? Asking a group of nearby patrons to tone down their language around her 7 year old grandson.

There’s also the recent shooting in the parking lot of an Applebees restaurant. Apparently, while watching the game, a New Orleans Saints fan took exception to a couple of 49ers fans rooting against his beloved football team, shooting them in the parking lot afterwards. Let's see, going to Applebees to watch football. Football jersey? Check. Favorite lucky hat? Check. Pistol, in case someone is rooting for another team? Check.

So how does it come to this? Shooting someone over an argument or a football game. Parenting? Lack of education? Deep seated mental problems? Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things. I’m not suggesting we constantly let others walk all over us, or hold hands and love one another. But there has to be a way to resolve our differences without a stabbing or shooting.

Have we reached a point of no return? Some of these people have kids. Who is going to teach these kids how to deal with confrontations in a nonviolent way? If dad is smacking up grandmas in Chuck E Cheese, do you really think Junior is going to grow up any different? Doubtful.

I don’t want to come off as a cynic; there are still extraordinary people in this world, people that do the right thing when nobody is looking. These are the people that are often overlooked because they don’t get the headlines. There are many people that don’t look for confrontation, but deal with it in a remarkable manner.

So I guess all one can do is teach their kids morals, values, and respect for others; and hope others do the same. By observing the way we react or deal with a volatile situation, hopefully others may learn by example and act accordingly.

We have to live together, as different as we are. We can learn from our past mistakes, or just keep fighting one another. The Earth seems to be getting smaller as we hit the 7 billion people mark. 7 billion different personalities, with different ways of doing things. So rather we like it or not, we can’t fight everyone, that’s a lot of confrontation.


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    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks Marlo, and I think your right. I'm asking these things because I have no idea why people are so out of control at times!

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 6 years ago from United States

      Great Hub. Voted UP and USEFUL. LOL "Lack of education? Deep seated mental problems?" - I think those two traits qualify for a lot of hardship with people, but I hope I am wrong and teaching children values makes up for any lack of education or the presence of mental issues within a family. Respecting others goes a long way too.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      @ L.L. - It can be depressing sometimes, that's for sure!

      @ mydubaistay - It would be nice, unrealistic as it may be!

      @jenubouka - I didn't even think about it from that standpoint, so true. Thank you for the kind comments!

      Thanks for reading and commenting guys!

    • profile image

      jenubouka 6 years ago

      This needs to be read by all world rulers who just seem to take everything personal. What an inspiration to read, it holds so true Weestro. I think this is perfectly stated with kindness and compassion the way a confrontation should be dealt with, and as always a witty sense of charm.

    • mydubaistay profile image

      mydubaistay 6 years ago from Dubai

      Yeah totally agree with your hub its so sad to see that the little life we have we spend it on fretting and fighting with others. Why can't we enjoy and live peacefully for once. A great hub on such an important topic!

      Voting up!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      You've expressed thoughts I've had for some time. Even kids on the playground no longer seem to deal in just fist fights -- guns or knives too often are standard fare.