Throughout my youth, and well into my late 20s, the lengths to which I used to go to avoid confrontation of any kind made Gandhi look like Hitler. I was pertified of either getting beaten up, or having people not like me.
Fast forward several years down the line, I actually look forward to opportunities for confrontation, to test myself. I’m sure of my own mind and opinions, strong, and couldn’t give a turd what anyone except my closest friends and family think of me. If I believe I am in the right, I simply refuse to back down until I have made my point clear.
However, a holdover of my former pacifist days means I am generally not that used to dealing with actual confrontational situations when they arise. I get completely overwhelmed by adrenaline, or an emotional rush, and I lose the ability to think clearly, or speak clearly and dominantly. The inner part of my mind is calm and collected, but my physiology betrays me.
The “HR Office Admin Nazi Bitch” stormed over to my desk earlier, with some arse-licking pathetic beta toadie in tow. Apparently, I had broken the office mail policy by having too many personal packages delivered (which is obviously so important no-one had thought to inform me of it in my 9 prior months of working here). Additionally, the porter who delivers the mail had overheard me making a comment about how I had “turned him into my personal postman”, which he took great offense to, despite it clearly being a joke about how I had unknowingly been taking the piss (I like the dude – I feel no need to rip on him). But yes – I know. The triviliality of this shit is mind boggling isn’t it. This is why I cannot stand corporate environments, and the sooner I get out of here the better.
Anyway, I digress. She stormed over, and caught me completely off guard with a furious barrage of accusations about how I had deliberately and knowingly abused the office mail policy, cutting off my protestations before I could even from a sentence. It took me a full minute to regain my composure sufficiently, and stifle the adrenaline rush, before I actually managed to get my case across, and make her back the fuck down. If I’d been more used to handling this kind of thing, I’d have just been able to calmly shut her up within 10 seconds.
I’m certain this is simply because I’m still relatively unused to actually being in a heated situations, having avoided them most of my life. As I experience more and more of them, they will become almost commonplace, and I will stop reacting in any kind of adverse fashion. Remember, if you can keep your cool whilst your opponent loses their, you have already won.
Anecdotally, I got smashed in the head by some cowardly cunt in Australia last year. I’d bumped into his Ute whilst crossing the road (I was pissed), and when he said something to me, I’d just flipped him the finger and carried on walking. Apparently (I don’t remember), he got out of his car, ran 50 metres up the pavement after me, and launched a flying elblow into the side of my head, before running back off and driving away. I got back up almost immediately, with no more lasting harm than a sore jaw for a few days, but in all actuality this incident helped me tremendously with conflict – I’d never even been punched in the face in my life up until that point, and I suddenly realised that if that was as bad as it got from someone taking a running, flying elbow, unawares, to the side of my head, then it wasn’t actually anything that much to worry about.
In short – get punched in the face – it’s liberating.