Confrontation is rarely anyone's idea of a good time; however, sometimes when an issue is present, it proves a necessary evil. If you are trying to confront an individual with whom you are having an issue, but this individual is non-confrontational and, as a result, tries to skirt the issue, dealing with the challenge that exists between you could prove difficult. To decrease the likelihood that your non-confrontational conflict partner pulls away from your discussion before you can deal with the issue at hand, you must approach the topic differently than you otherwise might.
Select one issue to tackle at a time. If you have much about which to confront the individual in question, selecting only one issue is wise. Considering this individual isn't a fan of confrontation at all, you will likely not have the opportunity to tackle a number of issues effectively, so choosing the most pressing one and dealing with it alone improves your chances of success.
Make the confrontation as cordial as possible. Most non-confrontational people avoid confrontation because they don't want to argue. Instead of making this individual uncomfortable, make your approach to this issue more friendly; by doing so, you can reduce the likelihood that this individual tries to get out of discussing the issue but instead continues with the friendly conversation.
Focus on the desired outcome. Keep the goal in mind so you can more effectively guide the conversation toward the reaching of this goal. For example, if you want to reach an agreement with this individual, keep this desired agreement forefront in your mind to ensure that the person with whom you are discussing the issue can't lead you astray.
Redirect the conversation if the individual tries to skirt the issue. Don't give in to attempts to move from this issue to another one, but instead tell this person that you really need to resolve the problem and redirect back to the original topic.
Continue the discussion until you reach a satisfactory conclusion. Be persistent and forceful, keeping the conversation moving in the desired direction until you reach a consensus, or at least agree to disagree.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.