I was talking to a friend this morning who was admitting that perhaps he isn’t very good at confrontation. He’d prefer to avoid conflict, and admitted that it may come from a certain theological background (he grew up Mennonite).
In the course of the conversation, I said to him something like “You know, encouragement IS a form of confrontation.” I surprised myself with this statement, because I’ve never thought about it this way before. But I’m convinced that I’m on to something!
When we’re having a tough time, we need to be encouraged because without some outside help, we’re going to get stuck in negative self-talk. Encouragement tells us we can go another mile in the marathon. It tells us we can get back up, dust ourselves off, and get back on a horse. Someone who encourages us confronts the self-defeating negativity and says “NO” to it.
We may not see it as a confrontation because it may be preemptive. Ideally, we’re getting encouraged even before our brain says “I want to quit, I want to give up, I want to be comfortable.”
When was the last time you told someone they are pretty? (And really meant it.)
“Oh, I’m not — I’m not as pretty as so-and-so.”
You know you’re getting enough encouragement when you can just say “thank you” after being confronted with some truth about yourself. Encouragement is just an exercise in confrontation that says “I believe in you. You can do it.”
Get lots of mini-interventions, it’s like health food for your brain… and your soul. And give them out, too.