One of the things I've learned about myself: I really, really dislike confrontation. A lot. It was to the point where I would avoid it at almost any cost for fear of what *could* happen as a result of it. And when the persona you have of yourself is built on being fair and likable, as mine was, that doesn't give much room for things like disagreements and arguments. But healthy relationships have this tension, and arguments are simply a part of life.
One really big thing happened as a result of my avoiding confrontation: I spent a lot of my life suppressing myself, my needs, and my desires. And let me tell you, it sucks.
I'm thus carving out a space where I can get my needs met and also still be a non-jerk. There will be times when I actually do come across as a jerk or not likable or maybe unreasonable but, as always, I can't control what others think of me.
That's one of the reasons I avoided confrontation by ducking into email in lieu of in-person conversations; it gave me an illusion of control. Nothing "bad" could happen (even if I couldn't tell you what that bad thing was - just a feeling) and I could thus be seen in a certain light. Everything was "OK." But there was also no space for things to be way better than OK, or way worse. I wasn't allowing big emotions in, for fear of how I would be seen - for fear of showing myself!
We all carry these parts of ourselves, some we may never show to anyone. But we need to acknowledge them as a part of ourselves and wage peace with them, instead of going to war against them. That's what I'm working on because not only is it not great, but honestly, I'm too awesome to permit myself to do that.