Confrontation

1

The Pastor and I are very different from each other.  Very, VERY different from each other.  There are very few things that The Pastor and I actually have in common.  He’s an extreme extrovert, I’m an extreme introvert.  He’s loud, I’m quiet.  He is incredibly handsome, I’m…a little odd looking.  You might even wonder how we managed to stay married.

You are not alone in your wondering.

One of the many, many ways that The Pastor and I are different is the way we deal with confrontation.

This is the part of the blog where you are sitting on the edge of your couch, drooling, ready to read about a juicy fight.  There will be no fighting between The Pastor and I here.  First, we do remarkably little fighting.  Second, I already blogged about how we argue, so you’ll just have to go search through all my previous blogs for that kind of entertainment.

One of the reasons that The Pastor and I do remarkably little fighting, is that I hate confrontation.  This is not actually a good character trait.  It is healthy to discuss things when you have an issue.  I do not discuss things.  I tend to do far more overthinking, worrying, and fuming than discussing.  When faced with an issue where I should confront someone, I will usually end up on the couch hyperventilating, palms sweating, stomach heaving, in full blown freak out mode before I will actually discuss the issue.

The Pastor, on the other hand, will discuss everything.  If he even thinks there might be a hint of an issue, he will discuss it to death.  He will call you out the second there is even the tiniest of problems and talk about it for hours until any and all issues are beaten to death.  He will follow you around the house for hours saying “We need to talk about this” until you are so worn down that you can’t even see straight.

One of these ways of dealing with things is probably healthier than the other.

I like to think it’s my way.

There is a remote chance that I’m wrong.

Probably one of the reasons that I don’t confront others well is that I didn’t really get a lot of practice as a child.  I was a pretty agreeable kid.  I discovered at a young age that as long as I was relatively quiet and stayed out of the way of the adults, people pretty much let me do whatever I wanted.  I liked doing whatever I wanted.

I didn’t have to deal with confronting anyone too seriously until I was an adult.  One of my most memorable early attempts at confronting a problem was when we had an incident at the preschool I taught at.

This incident involved a little boy named Charlie.  Charlie was one of those children that is the shining star in the classroom.  He was bright, funny and engaging.  He also had a head of the most beautiful red-gold curls you have ever seen.  He was just a lovely child.  He was also the kind of child that I usually didn’t have to keep too close of an eye on because he got along with all of the other students and rarely caused any problems.

One day we were working on a project that involved lots of cutting and pasting.  Several of the children were having problems with the scissors, some were in tears.  I was feeling a little crazy trying to keep everyone calm.

When most of the children had finished their projects, I looked around the room and noticed something wasn’t quite right.  Something was missing.

“Where is Charlie?”

Charlie’s project was sitting on the table, untouched.  Charlie was nowhere to be seen.

After thoroughly searching the room, I found Charlie.  At least I thought it was Charlie.

The little boy that I found sitting under the table was wearing a shirt that was cut to shreds.  He had these red-gold tufts sticking out of his head and was surrounded by a scattering of the most beautiful red-gold curls that you’ve ever seen.  All over the floor.  Not on his head.

“What did you do?!”  I asked, dumbfounded.

“I cut my hair…” Charlie whispered.

“Um, I see that.  Why?” I asked, still a little dazed.

“I don’t know.”  Charlie answered.

“I am so fired…” I whispered

I cleaned up the boy and the floor, putting all those curls into a bag because I didn’t want to think about how they couldn’t be reattached.  I then called my boss into the room.

“Oh no!”  She gasped when she saw Charlie.  “You are on your own here.  YOU will call HIS FATHER and explain this to him.  If his father wants you fired, I will probably fire you.  I’ll watch your class, you go make the call.”

I was in tears.  I loved my job.  I loved it more than anything I had ever done and now I was about to lose it.  I went into the bathroom and threw up.  Then I went into my boss’ office and called Charlie’s father.  His secretary put me through.

This made it worse because I knew that business people don’t usually get secretaries by being super kind and understanding.  I braced myself for the confrontation, thankful that there was nothing left in my stomach to toss onto my boss’ desk.

A gruff voice answered the phone and I immediately started blurting out what happened.  When I was done, I flinched, waiting for his response, which I assumed would come in the form of screaming.

There was silence.

There was a lot of silence.

I started to worry that Charlie’s dad may have had a coronary as a result of his extreme anger.

Then I heard the strangest thing.  I heard laughter.  Charlie’s dad laughed for a good two solid minutes.  After the first minute, it sounded like he might be crying, he was laughing so hard.  Then he said something even stranger.

“I’m so sorry!” He gasped through his laughter.

“Sorry?” I asked, confused.  Was he trying to remind me that I probably should have said “I’m sorry”?  What was going on here?

When he finally collected himself, he explained.  The night before, at dinner, Charlie’s sisters and parents had been teasing him about his beautiful hair.  They had been telling him how beautiful it was and how all the girls were probably jealous of his hair.  At some point, someone had told him that he was just the prettiest little girl.  This was why Charlie had scalped himself with a safety scissors under the table.

Charlie’s father apologized again, which seemed strange, and said he would leave work early to pick up Charlie for a proper haircut.  Then he chuckled again and hung up the phone.

I was still standing at my boss’s desk with my mouth hanging open.  I stood there like that for about thirty seconds, phone to my ear, before finally hanging up and wandering back to my classroom.

“Well?”  My boss asked.

“Yeah, he apologized.  We’re good.”  I said.

“He apologized?  To you?” She asked.

“Uh huh.” I said.

“Wow!  You are good!” she said, impressed.

“Yeah, I don’t want to make any more calls like that.” I answered. “I don’t think I really understand people.”

I still don’t understand people.  It’s why I still don’t like confrontation.  I also don’t understand people who like confrontation.  I guess I’ll just leave that kind of stuff to The Pastor.

 

 

Do you do well with confrontation?  Please like and share this post so that I don’t have to confront you! 

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