Your Voice Matters: 5 Reasons Why Confrontation Is Essential To Your Happiness

by Arohie Chopra

Have you ever sent a serious text message to someone and buffered your feelings with casual text speak or emojis?

Do you pretend you're tipsy when you are voicing strong opinions and blame it on the alcohol? Can you name people to whom you connected on social media but with whom you would struggle to keep a conversation in person?

Welcome to the age of non-confrontation. No one has thrilling conversations and no one has an attention span long enough to care. Instead, we hide behind screens and try to brush off our feelings as quickly as possible.

Honestly, though, who cares? So what if we bottle up our emotions and don't know how to express ourselves freely? After all, isn't Generation-Y's problem-solving method of choice to flick dollar bills at the situation until it goes away?

It took me a while to understand the value of confrontation. Hesitation to voice our opinions is a form of insecurity.

Granted, sometimes the things we want to shout from the rooftops are not things that other people necessarily want to hear.

Hence, we are scared to share our feelings. However, I have learned that living in fear only creates distance, which affects the foundation of relationships we have already established.

Thus, I have vowed to build up my confidence and start confronting situations — pleasant and unpleasant — head on for the following reasons:

1. You need polished social skills to survive the real world.

What's the difference between us and other mammals? I would like to think it's our ability to interact with others rationally.

So, isn't it funny that while we have increased means of communication exponentially with technological advances, we have also lost our ability to communicate simply and effectively?

When we're using cell phones or social media outlets, we don't have that awkward human encounter. Without eye contact and spatial awareness, we lose social skills.

When asking your boss for a two-week vacation, you need to be able to walk into his or her office, look him or her in the eyes, smile politely, and confidently ask for the holidays you deserve.

It’s significantly less effective to shoot an email that outlines the request — confrontation will help develop your social skills.

2. The longer you wait, the less you will be heard.

When an incident we feel strongly about transpires, we are initially afraid to confront it. We think our feelings might be unjust, so we should wait, calmly reflect and react later.

Essentially, we try to dismiss the emotions. Yet, what happens when you try to compress feelings into a tight, small volume at the bottom of your heart? Pressure increases and eventually, you explode.

Let's say your friend did something to hurt you and when he or she apologized, you said, “It's fine.” You pretend the problem doesn't exist and try your hardest to ignore it.

Internally, though, that monster keeps screaming. You are not fine — you are still pissed! Months later, when you explode (because you will), things will be taken out of context. Your opinions about the situation will have no value and you won't be heard.

3. When you dwell, everything seems grander than it ever was.

If you have a small inclination of a feeling but feel unable to express it, you begin to dwell on it constantly. When you share it, it's released into the universe.

Yet, when it remains inside, it becomes a sour obsession. We replay words, actions and feelings over and over again in our heads.

Just like a cartoon, after a while, everything becomes exaggerated. We focus on the small details instead of the bigger picture.

The perfect example would be modern-day flings. Boy likes girl and girl likes boy, but since we believe in non-confrontation, neither party will willingly admit that they like each other.

Eventually, one breaks up with the other because it's easier to call quits than to admit your feelings. What happens after this is the interesting part.

Time passes and both parties dwell extensively on the brief affair. Upon adding some color and flare to the story, it eventually exaggerates into the most romantic episode of your life. You fall in love with the idea of that person, not the actual relationship you had.

Soon enough, it seems like you lost the love of your life. I like to call this “The Great Gatsby” effect. Had both parties admitted their feelings early on, you probably would have given the relationship an actual shot. Then, you would have at least had the chance to test whether or not it was real love or just a magnetic infatuation.

4. You will lose yourself in the midst of the crowd.

When we are timid about expressing our feelings, we accept sitting on the sidelines of our own lives, as it plays before us like a movie. We are scared of the repercussions that our confrontations will have and thus, choose to not be active participants.

All of this stems from fear. We don't want to have those uncomfortable conversations because telling the truth might risk a friendship, sharing genuine emotion might scare away a fling, and inflicting self-worth might jeopardize our careers. Seriously? We prefer to live indifferently?

I understand that there is hesitation for fear of being judged, yelled at, misunderstood or even dismissed.

Yet, the slight hesitation should not be reason enough to lose ourselves. Shutting everyone out and keeping quiet only leads to extreme loneliness.

5. Within the blink of an eye, things change.

Nothing is ever in our control. After all, people change, grow apart, move along and sometimes, in the darkest of moments, even pass away.

It is sad that the extent of our emotional capabilities is expressed via a "like" on social media. We miss out on so many great life moments. I, for one, do not want to be remembered as the generation that was incapable of love. So, fellow Millennials, isn't it time to confront?

The goal is to find any way to avoid that knot tightening in your stomach. Take notice of what your emotional center says and respond accordingly.

Ideas And Opinions

Guess what? Your voice matters.

Sometimes we don’t realize the true importance of what we have to say. Going along with the general consensus is not always beneficial; in fact, piping up now and again and offering an alternative opinion is usually welcomed.

Every person has his or her own views on the world — a unique perspective shaped by experience and instinct. Suppressing these ideas deprives others from seeing the full picture.

Express your views whenever you feel it to be necessary. If you don’t, you can end up feeling creatively and or productively stunted and again, frustrated.

It doesn't even have to be a ground breaking idea, but if it matters to you, it could matter to someone else. Share what you feel is worth sharing because bottling things up helps no one.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It