At one point or the other, every relationship demands a hard conversation. The difficult talk! Be it your romantic interest, your work colleague or a family member, every relationship has its moments where you have to talk about something that is not so easy to talk about. Such conversations need our special attention and we must handle it with care. A conversation is perceived as difficult only when it is to be done with somebody you care about because only then does the consequences of this dialogue matters. Difficult or not, the talk must be done. Because delaying it will only further risk your relationship and make it more exposed to negative upshots. So, how do we go about having such a conversation? How to have a difficult talk in any relationship?
Plan And Prepare
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Sounds regressing but sometimes it is the way to go. Planning doesn’t always mean delaying the conversation. It just means you want to go prepared. Readying yourself for the conversation in advance can keep you from saying absurd things which we often end up saying under pressure. It begins with finding the right moment. If you cannot find it yourself, let the other person do it. You can say something like “I was wondering if we could talk when you have a moment”, then, mutually agree on a time and a place for the conversation.
Having said that, do not let anything delay the conversation. Difficult talks have a tendency of finding their ways of getting delayed. But don’t let that happen. The more you delay it, the more difficult it gets.
Also, plan a rough draft of the conversation you are going to have in your head. Just make sure to be very polite and avoid finger-pointing, name-calling, and any such childish altercations.
Stick With The Facts And Be Direct
Begin the conversation by getting right to the point. Be respectful but do not beat around the bush. Speak what you intend to talk about and have a detailed discussion. You are not doing anything wrong by expressing how you feel. Feel, being the key word here! In a close relationship, when you unleash your opinions, the other person might feel attacked. Instead, if you only express how you feel and let the two of you together form an opinion, it brings you even closer.
Another important aspect is to stick with the facts. Give a detailed explanation of the issue and support it with precise examples if possible. This will bring more clarity to the conversation and help you have a rational dialogue.
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There are three aspects of this conversation- You, the other person, and the subject of your conversation. It is important for you to understand that the other person deserves the maximum attention if you want to have a fruitful conversation. Focusing on yourself and the issue will not reap the desired results. The untold truth is that you do not really have to talk that much during a difficult conversation. Instead, pay attention to their wisdom, their view, and how they intend to solve the problem. Instead of getting dissolved in your thoughts and the subject of your conversation, try to spend your energy into listening, reflecting, and observing. Sometimes, just listening can solve the issue at hand or at least help you with an explanation.
At the end of the day, you can neither control the conversation nor the other person’s reaction. So, stay relieved that you did your best and do not be scared. Every relationship has its own share of issues. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to work. It means the exact opposite most of the times!