Confrontation has an element of uncertainty and finality with dire consequences associated with it. This is one of the reasons why most people have difficulty doing it well.
A more useful way of thinking about it is to think of confrontation as a desire to keep the relationship working and healthy versus a having to deal with your values about beating someone up or getting beat up.
Most confrontation is about Right and Wrong, things that are Good or Bad, perhaps involve Yes or No. That makes confrontation a “dilemma” which is why people delay it until absolutely necessary.
Here is an easier way to address it.
Think of Confrontation as a “Negotiation” versus a “Declaration or drawing a line in the sand. That means you generate possibilities not ultimatums.
Consider the “intention” of the behavior that the other person is using (even though it annoys the heck out of you).
Generate 2-3 different ways for them to achieve that intention (see example below).
Establish agreement and follow up.
Sam wanted Susan to be on time. She was always late. They had talked about it and talked around it, but never resolved it. With the continuation, it was getting to the point of him being willing to fire her for the disrespect.
He decided to take a different approach. He told her that being on time was a really important thing to him and that being late was a statement that the other person didn’t really matter enough to respect with being on time.
Susan knew that this wasn’t what she was intending but it always seemed to happen. So Sam, proposed that she schedule herself to be at every appointment 21 minutes early. In that way, if something came up, she could handle it or change the appointment.
The 21 minute gap was a challenge at first, but soon worked well enough to take the edge off their relationship.
The negotiation for a better method versus the “do it the way I say or leave”, gave both people a chance3 to address their respective needs.