Confrontation is very often associated with aggression such as in a clash of opinions, a heated argument or an armed conflict.
There are vast differences between aggression as a basic and often blind survival mechanism and the art of assertiveness. How could anything be affirmed or asserted if one was deprived of confrontation?
For the sake of this article and its relevance to public speaking, performance, and communication, I’d like to stay away from the common usage and understanding of confrontation for a more revealing exploration of the term.
Confrontation: the invisible context of our existence
Assertion: there isn’t one instant in our lives when the context and power of confrontation is not fully active. Every time you take a breath your entire body confronts the elements necessary to fill your lungs with air. Every time you get into a car you confront all the minute adjustments to get in and start the car. Every time we speak our brain, body, muscles, vision, etc. are confronting various elements in order to deliver sound both on physical, emotional and mental levels. Other examples are blood running through our veins or cells regenerating. Confrontation is the stuff of life.
Life is a motion of energy and that energy to validate itself needs constant confrontation. Gravity is one of the examples. Everything on earth confronts gravity to survive and thrive: a snowflake, a flower blooming, a bird moving its wings, an engine running, my fingers typing, the wind against your face, criticizing a strategy, making love, standing in front of an audience, racing a car, driving your kids to school, firing an employee, hitting a tennis ball, studying for an exam, drawing a picture, cutting wood, giving birth, etc. The list is endless and you will not find one example in “manifested life” outside of the context of confrontation. Even the most profound meditation is allowed through confrontation as our body breathes and navigates through time.
Both aliveness and wellbeing are functions of the art of confrontation. To be alive is to both confront and be receptive to it. The need to be assertive or confrontational comes up all the time yet some people will do almost anything to avoid…