‘A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.’ Ecclesiastes 3:7 NKJV
Confronting at a time when the person is most receptive takes wisdom. Wife, when your husband first comes home from work, give him space before you bombard him with the problems of the day. Husband, don’t wait until you arrive at the event to tell your wife you don’t like the outfit she’s wearing. Tell her when she can do something about it. And you should make every effort to confront a person when he or she is alone, just as Jesus commanded: ‘If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private.’ (Matthew 18:15 NAS) Confronting someone in the presence of others can cause them to become defensive in order to save face. Your goal is reconciliation, not embarrassment.
If you have something ‘heavy’ to tell someone, it’s not a good idea to have the confrontation at their house or yours—select a neutral location. That way it will be easier for the person being confronted to leave the scene, if he or she becomes belligerent. And there’s always the possibility that this could happen.
Sometimes you have to temporarily lose people, to win them later. ‘He who rebukes a man will find more favour afterward than he who flatters with his tongue.’ (Proverbs 28:23 NKJV) Note the word ‘afterward’. If you don’t get the immediate response you desire, you can still win—especially if you pray, relying on the Holy Spirit to work in a person’s heart. But you must be willing to take the risk and confront the situation in order to bring about the change you desire. If you don’t, things will remain the same—or get worse.