My confrontational attitude is causing problems.
December 9, 2009 10:12 AM Subscribe
Help me stop being so impetuous and confrontational--I'm getting myself into trouble. I want to change but don't know how.
posted by Elminster24 to Human Relations (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Long story short, I tend to get myself into heated arguments with people online and offline about various topics. The latest incident has caused the other party involved to suggest what I wrote regarding a third party would be libelous and that they would let them know what I posted. While I don't personally believe it to be libel (I clearly stated it was my opinion) the incident has caused me to come to the realization that my behavior could be doing more harm to me than good.
Now, I know at the end of the day the best way to stop being this way is to just STOP. However telling someone to do that is like telling a clinically depressed person to just cheer up--it just isn't that simple.
For all you psychologists out there (armchair or otherwise), I have a hunch that this personality trait developed from being physically and mentally bullied throughout my entire childhood without the confidence to stand up for myself. Now that I can form halfway intelligent sentences and arguments, I find that I experience a rush when I "tell someone off" or "lay the smack down" if you will.
I also have a tendency to be a bit of a control freak, which is what usually sparks the arguments in the first place. I find that if I disagree with someone's opinion or feel that it is the "wrong way of doing things" I have a need to speak out righteously on the subject and "correct them" which inevitably leads to escalation, etc.
The internet hasn't helped me as I am an avid PC gamer and "smack talk" just comes with the territory. However the anonymity the net typically affords has certainly made me a bit looser with my tongue which is a problem when I forget that I am posting under my real name in some instances.
So what am I trying to get out of this thread? Well, ultimately I want to stop this behavior before it ruins me personally and/or professionally. To that end I'd love any suggestions, resources, personal stories of change, etc. Please avoid simply telling me that I need to stop. I know this, and I wish it were as simple as flipping a light switch, however we're talking deep-seated personality traits which were developed after a childhood spent being a victim.
I'm happy to answer any clarifying questions the hive may have and will do my best to try not to tell you your advice is wrong ;)