Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

We live in a society that is so afraid of confrontation that we avoid it at all costs or we make up excuses to diminish the need for it. As we hide behind our computer screens and only cathartically rant to our friends, we don’t discuss with the people that we need to the most: the people involved. And I’m not totally innocent to this either – I’m anxious to confront my friends about arguments we are in, subtweets they have posted, or things I have heard them say behind my back. And it’s not unnatural for those things to happen – we are teenagers living in a very social media, talkative age where rarely anything is private.

We need to confront, but not with loaded words and with animosity. To leave an issue unattended is much more dangerous than confronting the person in question because so many assumptions can sprout from it. It’s so easy to think that we know everything and that we can answer our own questions on their behalf, but in reality people are very difficult beings to understand and to read. Confrontation, to talk and to listen, is the most beneficial and cathartic. I understand. It’s scary to think of what they could say. Mostly we answer our own questions because we don’t want to think that the worst case scenario could happen with someone you considered a friend – that they could give you the worst answer you could possibly think of. But it’s better to ask them directly than to let your imagination to run wild on you because you really never know what they’ll say. And it’s only fair to give them the benefit of the doubt and the chance to explain themselves.

Media has propagated a community in which we jump to conclusions and immediately analyze each and every period, comma, emoji, and exclamation point. Confrontation? It’s the last thing on our minds as we teenagers screenshot each of our messages for analysis from a close friend. But it’s something that should be practiced and considered first to avoid drama.

So how do you confront someone? It’s much simpler and less agonizing than you would think, but it will take a certain amount of courage and initiative. Personally, I’ve talked to my peers on the phone or in person because it is the most direct and the fastest route that I could think of at the time. Messaging them on Facebook or texting them are options also, but it is so easy to leave behind a message as “seen” but never replied. And in that moment, your determination to confront that person disappears as we retract into our hole of assumptions and conclusions. So let’s sum it up, shall we?

Confrontation (n): directly approaching and discussing matters without animosity with someone to avoid unnecessary drama and quick assumptions for your own emotional well-being and to give the person in question the benefit of the doubt.

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the author

Frances Lee is a senior at Gretchen Whitney High School who finds a special importance in students having a voice and the inherent power in volunteering. She is currently the proud president of Pen on Paper and Key Club and has fallen in love with TEDxWhitneyHigh, a conference she has organized for the past 3 years to share "ideas worth spreading" with her community. Throughout her high school career, Frances has undergone a variety of experiences from traveling to Ecuador to writing a blog to barely overcoming her phobia of public speaking. She aspires to inspire others and to be inspired by her peers every day.

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