Member Rara Avis
It's important, I think, to differentiate between the various TYPES of confrontation.
In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with disagreements, even when those disagreements become heated and potentially volatile. Most certainly, there is nothing wrong with complaining, especially when someone's complaints can possibly change something for the better. Disagreements and complaints may not be comfortable for many, but they are just as necessary to healthy communication as the much more pleasant affirmations of "I love you" or "Thank you for being my friend." If you care both about yourself and someone else, conflict is inevitable and voicing your concern can bring only growth.
I believe confrontation only becomes unhealthy and, in fact, futile when one person (a) will be happy with nothing less than changing the other, and (b) let's their frustration over discovering that won't happen turn the confrontation into a personal attack.
Voicing your opinions on an issue will very, very, very rarely change the opinions of someone else. And they will NEVER change who that person really is. But that's okay, because an argument is just another word for conversation, and changing someone should never be our goal. We talk so that we might better understand. If I call you friend because I believe in A and you also believe in A, that's cool. But, if I like you because I believe in A and have no idea what you believe, then our friendship will always be a shallow one. The person I think I like exists only within my own mind and isn't a true reflection of you. Only when I know and understand what you believe, whether it be A or B, will our friendship have any real meaning.
So what happens when I discover you believe in B?
In part, that will depend on how strongly I believe in A. Naturally, there are a few things I find so completely unacceptable that I cannot overlook them in the name of friendship. And I understand that if you believe very strongly in B, you might well feel the same. Chances are, in either case, we will never be friends.
If we get over that hurdle, though, we still have to decide whether our agreements on C and D are, perhaps, enough to ignore our differences over A and B. If we are to be friends, there must be some commonalties we can share. With any luck, those will be enough to overcome our disagreements.
Finally, if we are to be friends, I think it is important that I agree to accept our differences. I cannot maintain our friendship with the hope that "someday" I will change you and make you believe in A. I don't have to like your opinion, but I have to respect it.
Friendship and love aren't dependent on agreeing with each other all the time. They're dependent on understanding each other. And that only happens when we can talk and feel comfortable enough to be honest with each other.