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8 Elements of Relational Confrontation

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

What is not confronting the problem costing you? Why is confrontation making you so anxious? Professionally, relationally, romantically, and personally, we all have areas where confrontation is both healthy and necessary. Confrontational communication contains layers. We have seen this process be beneficial for many and are excited you've found this resource!


In today’s blog, we are going straight to the point and providing you with practical and powerful tools to navigate confrontation well.


SO LET’S GET TO IT to help guide you through confrontation here are 8 Elements of Confrontation in a relational context as developed by clinical Psychologist Dr. John Townsend.


*We'd recommend candidly practicing this system with a safe friend so it's easier to follow when you're actually in confrontation:

  1. Begin with a “for” stance: I am for you - I want you to win at life. Keep your statements genuine and that "in light of my being for you and for this relationship or friendship... (into element two)

  2. State the problem: Performance? Relationships? Attitude? There could be any degree of layers to address but the goal here is to keep the statement concise and clear.

  3. Hear their side and/or deal with diversion. There’s a good chance the conversation may drift into other categories. Use discernment in this conversation and guide it back to the stated problem as necessary.

  4. Own your part. Every relationship is a two way street and the level of humility required to honestly walk through this step allows opportunity for growth from all sides and for the other party to meet you there.

  5. Request for change. How exactly should this issue be corrected? What does that look like? Is it too vague?

  6. Consequences, if needed. Within reason, consequences can allow the party at issue to feel reality and can be a powerful motivator towards a healthier dynamic in the future.

  7. Reiterate “for” stance - A reminder after a challenging conversation that this confrontation is with the betterment of this relationship, friendship, or professional dynamic in mind.

  8. Check back in 1-24 hours - Change requires oxygen - room to breath. Let them know that you’ll follow up in the next day.

SEE! You made it through and we trust you'll make it through the relational challenges you're facing today. Confrontation is not something most people look forward to, involves a level of heartbreak, and is simply scary. Yet the life and health on the other side of confrontation is totally worth it.


We know these tools can be helpful for both you and your community. As each of us grows healthier, so do our families, communities, and work environments (not to mention more productive!). Our desire is to see the revitalization of each human heart, vibrant communities, and dynamic work cultures.


We at Human Creative Coaching believe these can be helpful and powerful moment for your day/week if you take it in and apply it! Questions? Thoughts!? Let us know! If you found this blog post helpful, consider joining the movement by subscribing, or supporting! Our growth as Human Creative Coaching helps us help more humans!


Looking for a Life Coach? Reach out for a free consultation call with one of our professional and trusted Life Coaches!


Check out our additional blogs here or read more from our posts on Confrontation:


Human Creative Coaching, A Life Coaching Practice and Mental Health Movement

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