Monday, March 4, 2013

I Don't Like Confrontations!

It's one of the greatest moments in Toy Story. When pressured to take sides in an argument, the T-Rex panics: "Well, I mean, uh...I don't like confrontations!”

This is what I feel: My dad, wonderful person that he is, doesn't do well with confrontations. He appears to have left a trail of messes – at churches, workplaces, family events. I don't know... it's really hard for me to talk about my parents' weaknesses. In each situation, it's hard to tell how much my dad is the problem and how much he's the victim. All I know is that I have a deep-seated fear of repeating his mistakes. So when I have to deal with confrontation at work, I get sick to my stomach.

This is what I've heard: When I think I've lost my temper, that I've shown anger that I'm really going to regret, most people didn't even know I was mad. When they do know, I hear that I didn't come across as a jerk – but as a guy who's showing frustration just like everybody else does. My fear that I'm repeating my dad's mistakes appears to be unfounded.

I guess what I hate the most is being vulnerable. I don't like looking out of control. I'm terrified of being the fool who made a stupid mistake, argued about it with the boss, and got fired. I'm afraid of finding out that I'm my dad.


  1. have you ever done any enneagram work?? it helped me and my husband so much to see where patterns arise, especially those hateful ones that mirror our parents. nothing in me raises greater fear and aggravation than catching myself behaving like my mother.

  2. I hate to say this, "but I totally relate". I am in a tough spot at work right now. After the managers (who are also the family owners) have been hands off with me and my position for nine years, they are suddenly wanting to exert authority over me and my department. The son-in-law of the owner is particularly interested in contradicting every thing I say and derailing every project that I propose. I avoid him at all costs. In fact, I had a job interview on Monday this week. I want to avoid him and his confrontational manner so badly that I'm willing to leave my job. My inability to handle confrontation comes from being in constant battle with my father as a child, then work for him for 11 years. Funny how these learned feelings and behaviors are so difficult to un-learn!