Loving Confrontation- Rohit S

Rohit has joined CoEvolve last month full time. He brings in a wisdom that deeply resonates with CoEvolve and yet complements my energy. With this post we also start to post here writing of others in the ecology who resonate with this vision.

Loving Confrontation- Rohit S.

These are 2 words that aren’t used together very often. They are considered exclusive and maybe could never fit in the same frame together.. Most of my life I have heard, seen and in fact also lived this belief that one can never confront someone with love. And yet in all the personal observations and experiences I have had, harsh confrontation has never been able to do what saying something straight to someone while caring for them can do.. They are leagues apart.
Some questions which enabled me to shift my views and style of confrontation are..Can it not be done gently?? Can it be done in a way such that the other person and his feelings are taken into consideration?? Can it be done such that its straight and caring at the same time??.
Ever since then I have practised, cultivated different ways of confronting people while holding the same essence of the things I want to communicate. Confronting is actually a form of love where u care enough to tell the other person their flaws or shortcomings they can improve on.. Growing up my mum used to always say that “ The ones who point out your flaws are your true friends cause they care enough to tell you the way it is” That has stayed with me.. Because honestly, when you think about it, nobody really wants to screw up. They just need to be told where they could do better in a way that enables them to see that without fear and gives them space to inculcate it in their lives. One of my mentors always said this and I think it would be the right way to finish this post “We are all doing the best we can, some gentle nudges here and there could indeed help us do better, but they need to be nudges not train wrecks!”


I came across a book many years back, ‘Caring enough to confront’ and this is the spirit of that book. The author coined a beautiful word- Carefrontation. In more everyday lingo, this is the skill of Assertiveness- being honest, direct and caring. Fr. John Powell said something like- ‘The genius of communication is the ability to be totally honest and completely kind at the same time.’ Not submissive out of fear, not aggressive out of anger (hidden fear) but carefront out of love 😉

7 thoughts on “Loving Confrontation- Rohit S

    1. Hey Rohit!

      Great to hear from you!

      What a gift it is to receive an honest kind feedback that enables me to see an unseeing…!!

      I trust myself that truthfully offering what I perceive with total love to benefit the other is an act of love…

      And yet – sometimes it is received as a confrontation …

      sometimes it doesnt matter how its said, if it doesnt want to be received!

      If my loving confrontation is reacted to with pain and retaliation, is it still love?

      If I am the one taking the initiative to be real – am I more responsible?

      sometimes am I blind to my own projections lurking under the radar which see in the other what I am not yet able to see in myself…?

      Perhaps some pre-offer self correcting scanning – an instant “Work” over of our offering beforehand would keep it clean….

      And what of the one who makes an identity of confronting others with what they need to see, so they have a place to be?

      Perhaps we’d best dare to be lovingly honestly and truthfully



      and allow the other to accept the invitation and discover for themselves…

      How to


      facilitate this?

  1. One of the best examples of ‘caring confrontation’ that I have come across is in Byron Katie’s work and facilitation. Time magazine calls it ‘tough love’……. worth checking out:

    www. thework.com

  2. This thing, whatever we call it (carefronting, or loving confrontation, or tough love, or another phrase yet to be found), is a mode of interacting with the others. If it is an authentic expression of our selves, it will be a step to making that relationship meaningful and creative. If it is a carefully constructed mode of being, intended to manipulate the other to see the relationship as different from what it actually is , it destroys the relationship and puts an obstacle in my path of discovering myself. It is either an authentic expression, in which case it is beautiful, or it is positive thinking, with all the garbage that that brings into my mind.

    1. Well said, Chit.. Its either authentic or its a manipulated ‘positive thinking’.
      And it is not so much about the words as what is beneath..
      Are we being real?

      Like you would remember, even authentically saying.. to hell with the universe can move us to tears!

  3. “Carefronting” reminds me of “ruthless compassion” (sounds quiet uncaring!) or “divine disent” (again sounds like an oxymoron) but beneath all of these terms what shines acoss is the care, compassion or divinity of the communicator! If only we can see it and then believe it! That gets me to Appreciative Inquiry, which is definitely not Positive Thinking but I wonder how is it different from Creative Thinking??

  4. i just did exactly this, rohit… just a few days back – after a lot of dilly-dallying.
    and it was (as i experienced it) as much out of ‘fierce care’ for the friend, as it was out of a ‘fierce question’ about my integrity – “how long will i keep meeting this person i do love, with this irritation that is growing into hate, while trying to be ‘friendly’?”
    for me, it did take courge to DECIDE to be that friend… and the meeting played out in a way that a window opened for me to be gentle (loving and true) in my tough message.
    yet, i don’t think the next time will be easy.
    i think, i will have to call on courage to be true to him, and me – that is, be true to the friendship, the connection, the relation…
    i have to keep seeing – it is neither about him, nor about me; it is about the connection, the relation.
    but… any tool, technique, practice would definitely help.
    : )

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