How do you deal with confrontation / arguments ?

I find anyone confronting me or shouting at me or arguing with me difficult to deal with. It usually reduces me to tears or I will just walk away from the situation because it makes me feel so bad and I just don't know what to say . I am completely incapable of sticking up for myself. How can I handle these situations? I also find that events in the past where someone has shouted at me or upset me seem to be my most vivid memories. Is this normal with fibromyalgia? Is it possible to "learn" how to fight your own corner in an argument? I just seem to get emotionally "hurt" so easily. :) xx

11 Replies

  • A common symptom of fibro is crying easily I do when I am happy , sad, tired and annoyed , it was very frustrating until I found out it was an actual symptom. As all of us suffering a long term chronic illness it does wear you down and leave you feeling vulnerable and emotional personally I was exactly the same as you until I had my son and suddenly over night I had this bundle to protect and that made me more comfortable asserting myself, plus I have had fibro for 23 years and yes I have bad patches but on the whole with acceptance of my limitations I have finally learned to stand up for myself in public or on the phone etc... Though I may well still burst into tears when it's all over and done with. please don't upset yourself over feeling like this it is natural. I did have some counselling when I was younger and that did help I asked my GP about it and he was most helpful

    VG xx

  • Thanks for this V -G -- I also find myself agreeing with people --even if I don't really agree -- just because I find it so hard to think of the right things to say --- basically to make life simpler and less stressful --makes me feel "inferior" or "inadequate" and hate myself for being such a "pushover". Will have to try harder to "fight my corner" :) xx

  • hi there, you may find that the NHS may run an asertiveness course, which might be of benefit to you,

    xx(the one where I used to work did)

  • Like every one has said, you hold your own if you are right,

    But end up in tears it's very fustrating

  • Frustrating sorry wrong spelling

  • Hi , if anyone tried to shout or argue with me now, I couldn't handle it, I used to be great at using sarcasm and keeping calm . I wouldn't shout back Great in a argument . Can't now am useless I would just burst into tears can't handle shouting and am no good at using my brain. Infact , I can't even shout myself it takes far go much brain power and effort,, x

  • I know how you feel, I am the same. Sometimes, I will shout back, but usually cry. I started going for CBT at my GPs. CBT stands for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Sounds technical jargon, but its not. Basically the give you forms like What was said, another box with What you could have said, another box how you felt at the time. How would you deal with it again. I have been for 6 times, another 2 to go. Has helped, but when totally overwhelmed, with pain and life, I still cry, but then calm down and look at it differently. Its certainly worth a go, if your healhcare system provides it. GOOD LUCK. xx

  • My attitude is, if someone gets in my face, that is their problem, not mine. You are under no obligation to waste any time with negative people, if it suits you, blank them. Or if you are in the mood for a fight, feel free to give them a good roasting.

    For the record, I usually walk away. ;)

  • Yes that's why many of is become co dependant. We're people pleasers who avoid confrontation. I've had to do a lot of work on this personally, through a 12step program. I refuse to be drawn into arguements now. I don't function well with confrontation so I don't do it.

    With my husband....I write him letters outlining my feelings. That way I can think clearly about what i want to say....and can keep it to MY needs Instead of being drawn into reacting to his. I can say ....sorry you feel like that.....with no follow up or justification...until I'm ready. Writing it down allows me to feel I'm not just accepting unacceptable behaviour. I'm accepting that I'm powerless over someone else's behaviour....stepping back and considering my own needs in my own not being a doormat. When the situation is calm I can discuss the letter over a quiet cup of tea...without the high emotion... and listen then to his needs too...which are sometimes written down too these days. I know its serious if he writes lol. It also gives him time to think.

    Out on the street its more difficult. Detachment is a very important skill. We were recently verbally attacked by a staff member on a ferry. He was having a bad day lol. He shouted and swore.

    Stepping back from the situation very consciously allowed me to say very calmly......I'm sorry you feel like that...your behaviour is completely unacceptable.....I wish to discuss this with your superior......and walked away. I got his name from someone else on the boat and wrote a letter of complaint. When I got a reply. I felt heard. That's what's important I think.

    Things take longer. I still feel like crying, but I keep my thoughts firmly on MY needs and still avoid confrontation. I've had to learn that in the majority of events nothing has to be dealt with immediately. I CAN give myself time to think. Its not clever to react....Even when I'm in the wrong....I can say....sorry you feel like that.....move away from the situation and accept my part later. Written apologies seem to be well accepted.

    Well that's how I cope. I suppose I'm a bit of a hedgehog. When threatened I roll up into a ball and wait for the danger to pass.....and then deal with it in my own way. Sometimes I have to ask myself how important is it anyway. Sometimes its nothing to do with me....people have their own issues.

  • Thanks all for your comments .... stepper you have given me some great advice ... what you say really makes sense... I will try to put your ideas into practice... in fact I have just had my first attempt ... my husband spoke rudely and harshly to our son ... I didn't react immediately... later our son said to me "why did dad speak to me like that?" ... I took the dog out for a walk by myself and "did some thinking" ... when I got home I picked up courage and asked my husband how he would feel if someone spoke to him in that way and he ended up apologizing to our son!!! :) I felt emotionally drained but quite pleased with my success! Thanks stepper .... your approach may be a bit "hedgehog like" but it works well. I am going to work on this technique. Thanks again xx

  • Hi,I am the total opposite ,i used to be able to be clam ,rational and listen to everyone no matter how abusive or aggressive they were.Now it's a complete turnabout to the point where my anger scares me it's naught to sixty in seconds i am so verbal if i think anyone is being sarky,rude or ignorant my mouth seems to operate of it's own accord before i can stop it.I do not know why i do this or how to stop it it's a bit like the film liar liar and i cannot help but them my version of the truth.While at times this can be funny it's also very unlike my old self and i do acknowledge that i need help to control my temper these days and have asked for help which i'm due to receive shortly.I partly blame tiredness,frustration and manic mood swings i'm not sure if it's fibro related although i am very angry that my life has been reduced to four walls and a lot of pain so yes i get easily frustrated any annoyed very quickly.I am not saying that i go out looking for trouble or that i verbally abuse innocent strangers but i do react in certain situations where before fibro i would have shrugged it off and walked away.My point being that maybe being you is better than being like me,

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