One of the hardest parts of social conversations especially in a public venue like the market with the vendors, at workplaces, in schools, social functions and even long-held traffic queues is the art of avoiding a confrontation or the brouhahas or the run-ins, however one wants to call it. Worse is to escape one even especially when it is inevitable.
It is very tricky to avoid pointing a finger and saying “Thy fault is thine own” especially when the hard fact is that the trouble didn’t start with us but has affected us in some manner or the other. Eventually we feel angry, irritated, upset and sometimes even feel like giving back either as strong words or by actions. And the more upsetting part is when we realize that whatever happened was the sole responsibility of the other person.
Human nature has few upsetting facets, one of them being that we tend to throw stones at others, especially when we ourselves stays in a glasshouse.
There are few easy ways to avoid these confrontations that I usually try using. First and the most trickiest one is to try and run away before eyes lock, heads turn and voices get heated up. If that doesn’t work and there is no nearest exit, then the other option is to try to change the subject or the topic of conversation. One of the other strategies that often works for me is to try and let the other person rant and rave, let off some steam and move off graciously and inconspicuously. Fourth is to avoid voicing an opinion unless asked pointedly or if we have absolutely and strongly no choice but to say. This is when silences is really golden. Yet the most important of all is to stay away from such people. This is the most hardest of all, especially when we have to interact with such people either at work or in the community. But this is the most safest.
Our Scriptures also has multiple references about conflicts and confrontations. As per Mathew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Though many a time, it may not be possible especially in public places to quietly correct any offense against us. In those moments, the words from 2 Timothy grant solace,”Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels (2 Timothy 2:23).”
All said, the most important thing is to not let our nature or peace of mind be affected. “You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. (Leviticus 19:17)”
Just like blind cannot lead the blind, neither can we overcome evil by doing or being evil. But we can overcome evil with good. For let not others spoil what we can achieve today or any day in our journey through life.