Books About Confrontation?

The longer I work on this observatory project, the more I realize I am going to need to get better at handling confrontations; be it over email or in person, with “friends” or with “foes”. There are just a lot of assholes out there who either want to stand in the way of change/progress, or like to completely overstep their bounds.

It shames me to say, but my biggest issue with confrontations – especially in person – is that I get teary-eyed. I don’t mean to, and I certainly don’t want to, but for some reason my body just reacts that way in those situations. I’d really like to be able to control my emotions more.

So, does anyone have any book suggestions about how to handle confrontations in the workplace? Books specifically geared toward women would be even better!

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Comments on: "Books About Confrontation?" (4)

  1. I am not confrontational by nature and used to avoid it at almost all cost; however, once I had kids and later my own students, I realized that other people depend on me to protect them. I started getting much more confrontational, and once you have dealt with a few scary or nasty people, it gets much
    easier.

    Don't worry about tearing up — I still do that sometimes. It would great if we were all cool cucumbers, but we're not. Don't let that (fear of getting teary-eyed or otherwise emotional) stop you from standing your ground. Confrontations are never pretty or pleasant — just embrace it and don't try to make the conflict nicer or more pleasant than it is. Keep your eyes on the prize, even if they are teary!

    I am sorry I don't have any book recommendations, just advice from my own experience. Most confrontations play out much less dramatically than what we envision them to be, and are often much less consequential to our lives than we think.

    Good luck!

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  2. I don't have any recommendations, either, unfortunately. But I can relate. I get teary-eyed when I am frustrated or overwhelmed and it's completely involuntary, so I can't help it when it happens. It has happened to me when talking to professors and a couple of times when dealing with my extremely bad grade 9s during that one practicum (which was very embarrassing).

    My associate teacher for that practicum said something to me very similar to what GMT said, that it feels much more dramatic for us in the moment than it does for the other person/people and they don't spend nearly as much time agonizing over the details as we do. So it's ok to let some things go. Easier said than done, though!

    If you do find anything helpful, please let us know!

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  3. Anonymous said:

    “Women Don't Ask” I haven't read it, but have heard great things about from other women in academia. From what I recall, it deals precisely with the issue of negotiation and how men and women see it differently.

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  4. Thanks for the advice, everyone. I do agree that the other people involved probably don't think about it nearly as much as I do – mostly because they're involved in confrontations all the time and it's just part of their personality! LOL

    I have found a couple books that sound interesting, so I'll see if I can get them at the library. Will post an update if I find them useful (or not).

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