Growing up, I was never given a true example of how confrontation can be addressed in a positive way. Like most women in my mother's generation, confronting someone was seen as a very negative thing to do. I think there is a positive and constructive way to confront someone, but that doesn't make it easy.
Recently, I was forced to confront an acquaintance of mine who stepped over the line in our relationship. When it first happened I was willing to ignore it, to just let it go. But a friend of mine, when I told her what had happened, said to me "What kind of relationship do you want to have with this person? Do you want to allow this to happen again? Because by not saying anything, you are silently giving permission for this to happen again." I was sick for three days about the way this person overstepped the boundaries, and the feeling wouldn't go away. I was forced to confront the situation. I said my part and walked away, allowing this person a way out should they want to hide from me for a while, in shame. I also gave this person permission to discuss the situation with me. Honestly, one confrontation is enough for me, but should this person want to talk with me, I need to be open enough to listen. And strong enough to keep my boundaries clear.
A few months ago, when we put on the "Boundaries and You" workshop, I thought I knew something about boundaries because of my experiences in my family. It is so much harder when faced with a challenge outside of your comfort zone. By being passive in this particular relationship, I really was giving this person permission to walk all over me. And that wasn't right. It is okay for me - and you - to set up boundaries early on, and to confront another person when those boundaries are overstepped. For me, personally, I am hoping this whole situation will blow over quickly. With a new outline for us to follow, I am sure that this person and I can move on in this relationship amicably. There is always the chance that this person may be hurt or embarassed by what I had to say, but sometimes you need to call people on naughty behaviour. It wasn't right what happened, but because I said what I needed to say, I can feel myself forgiving this person. Having compassion for someone who wronged you can be a very powerful thing.