Right and wrong times to confront

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“There are times when confronting someone does more damage than good…  How can you know whether it’s the right time or the wrong time to confront?

1. When someone is in danger. Some people say or do things that hurt themselves or others to the extent that lives are at risk…  You need to intervene when you see any behavior that puts people in harm’s way...

2. When a relationship is threatened. Relationships are vulnerable to damaging words or actions. You need to confront when necessary to preserve the relationship...

3. When division exists within a group...

4. When someone (violates) you ...

5. When you are offended….  For the sake of the relationship, confronting in humility and expressing your concern provides the other person the opportunity to be sensitive to you in the future and to avoid offending you by discounting the offensive actions...

6. When others are doing thing do hurt themselves or others...

7. When others are offended...


Confrontation can create unity, but it can also divide, especially when done at the wrong time, in the wrong way, under the wrong circumstances, by the wrong person, or to the wrong person…


1. When you are not the right person to confront. If you are not the one offended or not responsible for the one offended, you may not be the one who should confront…

2. When it’s not the right time to confront. You may be the right person to do the confronting but it may not be the right time or your heart may not be right...

3. When you are uncertain of the facts. Be sure you are fully informed of what is happening. Sometimes asking the right questions and listening objectively will reveal that you are simply misperceiving the situation...

4. When it’s best to overlook a minor offense... 

5. When you are (guilty of doing the same offenses.) Paradoxically, you can be most offended by people who are engaging in the very behaviors with which you yourself struggle. You would be hypocritical in correcting others when you are guilty of doing the same thing. First correct your own behavior. Then you can help correct the behavior of someone else...

6. When your motive is purely to satisfy your own rights, not to benefit the other person. A “my rights” attitude will only damage the spirit of a positive confrontation. Therefore, consider another’s interests over your own...

7. When you have a vindictive motive. Before you confront, genuine forgiveness of the offender is imperative. …  You must not confront out of a secret desire to take revenge or to get even...

8. When the consequences of the confrontation outweigh those of the offense. Look at the degree of the offense before you confront. Some battles pay little dividends and are just not worth the fight!...

9. When the person you want to confront has a habit of foolishness and quarreling. Avoid confronting people who are unwilling to recognize their offense. If you cannot avoid the confrontation, you may need to take others with you to help in confronting these persons...

10. When the person who offended you is your enemy. Sometimes it is best not to confront those who oppose you but to seek to win them over (with kindness)...

11. When confrontation will be ineffective and reprisal severe. You may not be able to effectively confront a person who has a violent temper and who is likely to exact severe retribution on you or on someone you love. However, with such a person you need to have the enforce proper boundaries.” ...

All of the above has been extracted from "How to Deal with Difficult Relationships”  by June Hunt.