Confrontation WWYD

Are you the kind of person who does all they can to avoid confrontation or do you deal with it when necessary?

Say, for example, you had a friend who suddenly stopped talking to you and avoided you. If they saw you in the street they’d cross the road to avoid you, if you saw them in the store they’d pretend not to see you.

How would you deal with this? Would you just chalk it up to being their loss, and move on with your life? Would you wonder what you had done wrong but just leave it alone because you didn’t really want to know if you were the cause? Would you email? Would you call her up and put her on the spot? Would you go up to him in the store and ask point blank “are you ignoring me? Did I do something wrong?” Do you blame yourself, that for sure you did something to them, or do you blame them that they are crazy?

(I had this situation many times after my ex and I separated and divorced. People just did not know what to say so they avoided me. I found it cowardly and hurtful. I have found that generally when people are uncomfortable with something they find a way to avoid it – even if it means hurting someone’s feelings)

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  1. momo says:

    I used to want to talk it throug, in order to understand. In fact, silence and avoidance used to be quite unbearable for me.

    But I found out that often the others did not want to talk it through. I am quite strong verbally, and I suppose I had a kind of bulldozer-effect.

    So now I found out that it is not possible to force anyone to speak.

    Therefore now I would rather tend to let it go and not run after the person…

    The risk when bringing it up is that it could lead to really strong verbal dispute and make things even worse…

  2. batya from NJ says:

    if i truly have no idea why the person is suddenly avoiding me, i may try to bring it up just to figure out what is going on. often times, i will feel better once we discuss it & i might find out that it was not something i did but rather b/c they were having their own issues & then i won’t take it personally. of course, when it is something that i did wrong (in their opinion) then i often try to apologize (if in fact i am to blame-& sometimes even if i’m not but for whatever reason they took offense) & try to move on from there…then again, sometimes, i couldn’t care less if the person is avoiding me b/c the feelings may be mutual & i may not be interested in a connection with them anyhow so it doesn’t pay to try & get to the bottom of whatever is actually going on…

  3. don stugots says:

    i hold things in to avoid confrontation if i can until i boil over.

  4. lady lock and load says:

    I don’t understand why anyone would avoid someone who got divorced. Unless you stopped covering your hair. One of my friends did that, and I was shocked and didn’t know what to say. But then I recovered.

    • batya from NJ says:

      hey LLL, why would you avoid a friend who stopped covering her hair? personally, i would only avoid someone who has hurt me or my family in some way or another. if a friend chooses to stop covering her hair, that is between her & G-d & not between her & me so i would have no reason to view her any differently b/c i would try to implement the saying “al tadun es chavercha ad she’tagiyah limkomoh” which translates as “don’t judge a friend until you are in his/her place”… but anyhow, i’m glad you recovered with your friend once the shock wore off!

    • Chanief says:

      As far as I know HSM DID in fact stop covering her hair for a while after her divorce. I think your comment is extremely insensitive just for that alone, however, I find it offensive in a general way as well.

      You stopped speaking with a FRIEND because she uncovered her hair after a divorce? I understand that you were shocked, but how do you think your friend felt to be avoided at such a vulnerable and difficult time in her life? I’m not trying to give you a (very) hard time, but it’s incredibly judgmental, and you don’t even seem mildly apologetic. Do you think it’s OK to judge a friend like that and avoid them because they made a choice you might not make for yourself?

      And then to comment in that way on the writing of another friend that you KNOW did that exact same thing? OUCH.

  5. lady lock and load says:

    What happened was I saw my married friend and she was no longer covering her hair. She for sure did not see me. I didn’t go over to say hello because I did not know what to say and was too in shock to hide it and did not want to embarress her. I did not know if she was divorced or she just decided to not cover her hair anymore, so I did not approach her till later when I recovered, invited her for shabbos meals, and continued like nothing happened. So I thought something similar had happened to hadassah. Sorry I didn’t write so clearly before, pre pesach madness going on here!

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