Letter Writing: Confrontational Letter Writing Defined

‘Confrontational letter writing’ is a distinct form of letter writing.

A confrontational letter is a letter that confronts a situation, a problem or dispute. It seeks a specific objective from the recipient that will not usually be granted without resistance.

The writer wants a certain objective and the recipient of the letter will not grant that objective unless convincingly persuaded that he should.

It is not a cheery letter exchanging pleasantries. It is starkly confrontational and directly confronts an issue and seeks to elicit from the recipient of the letter a favorable response. In most instances the recipient is not eager to provide the objective being requested.

Usually there are two basic situations where such a letter emerges:

The First Situation: An individual has received an important and serious letter from another individual, a government, a regulator/authority, a lawyer, a bank, a corporation, an institution, etc. – a letter which contains a demand of some sort.

The individual needs to effectively confront and respond to that letter. He needs a well-written persuasive letter that forcefully confronts that party with his own position and attempts to persuade that party to either moderate, post-pone or abandon the demand.

The Second Situation: An individual has a serious situation or problem and wants to confront and persuade a 3rd party – another individual, the government, regulator/authority, a lawyer, a bank, a corporation, an institution etc. to do something – to agree to his request for some sort of action or forbearance.

In order to accomplish this goal the individual needs a well-written persuasive letter that persuades the recipient to agree to his request.

These letters are confrontational letters. Letters that confront a serious problematic situation and attempts to resolve the problem exclusively through the use of letters.

To be effective this form of letter writing must usually be restricted exclusively to letter writing and not be augmented by verbal confrontation. This is because in many instances verbal confrontation gives a distinct and unfair advantage to the recipient of the letter.

‘Confrontational letter writing’ is a distinct form of letter writing and to increase the chances of success it necessarily needs to be written by a writer who is experienced in writing such letters. This is not the sort of exercise that can usually be effectively conducted by a novice or the average layman – expertise and experience is essential.

The professionals most adept at writing confrontational letters are lawyers who have had extensive experience in this type of writing. Many of the skills required to be a successful confrontational letter writer are those same skills that make for an effective court room litigator or negotiator.

While general advice can be given as to how best to write and structure confrontational letters – there is no substitute for experience. A novice confronted with an urgent need to send an effective confrontational letter should seek professional assistance.

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