Dysfunctional, offensive people need confrontation that heals best. And that is, when it serves love.
My client, Bobby, 29, struggled with stopping and confronting his mother who continually abused him – physically, verbally, and emotionally.
He wanted very much to establish firm, healthy boundaries. But his mother never honored it. She went on violating his boundaries and treating him as still her little boy.
How can confrontation heal and work best?
When it serves love. When it protects and nurtures.
In the case of Bobby, his boundary conversations with his mother would still need to be motivated and driven by love … regardless of her toxic, abusive behaviors.
If he yells at, criticizes, or gets violent to her mother, that doesn’t promote the purposes of love. It could actually end the relationship rather than enhance it.
Relationship needs protection. And that’s comprised of basically protecting it from elements that would harm it.
It can be likened to tending a garden. If you want your plants to survive and thrive, you need to do more than water and feed them. You also need to protect them from bad weather, insects, and disease.
In the same way, in any relationship. That needs to heal, survive, thrive. That needs watering and feeding.
Relationship needs protection from bad, poisonous elements that have the power to infect and contaminate it.
So things like lies, deception, disconnection, defensiveness, control, immaturity, and selfishness etc have the power to damage or end an entire relationship. Especially when left unchecked.
Practice it: confrontation that heals best. Love wins, no matter the outcome.
“A successful confrontation will always involve balancing grace and truth. Grace is your being on the side of, or ‘for,’ the other person as well as the relationship. Truth is the reality of whatever you need to say about the problem. This balancing combination is referred to as being neutralized.”
— Dr. Henry Cloud