Mastering Difficult Conversations #011
On today’s podcast episode we are talking about Mastering Difficult Conversations.
I’d like you to take a minute and think about someone in your life, maybe it’s your spouse, your kids, your mother-in-law, your neighbor, your boss or even your best friend, that you need to have a difficult conversation with that you have been avoiding.
By now you know that the longer you’ve been avoiding that conversation, the worse the situation gets. It creates distance in the relationship or prevents the relationship from being as rewarding and fulfilling as it could be with better communication.
And the conversations we should be having are the real game changers. They can transform the relationship, heal a relationship and grow you both as individuals. And yet, we avoid them. And it Leaves both parties feeling unheard. Un-validated. Fearful, frustrated, disconnected, annoyed or even angry. All emotions that drain the relationship of it’s full potential and affect your mood, attitude and choices in ALL areas of your life. Even outside of that particular relationship.
How would it change you to have that conversation over with? Would you feel more confident? More empowered? More in control of your own life?
How would the relationship change? Would communication be easier? Would there be less misunderstandings or hurt feelings? Would there be a deeper connection?
So, let's be honest about difficult conversations?
Do they ever go away when we ignore or avoid them? Most of the time, they don’t.
They linger, they fester and the problem worsens over time. All the while depleting our confidence more and more.
We tell ourselves we don’t want to upset the other person. We don’t want to cause drama.
We tell ourselves it’ll make things worse if we confront them. That it will work itself out on its own eventually. We wonder if we’re wrong or if they’ll finally walk away from the relationship if we stand our ground. Or we think “but they’re such a nice person, I’m sure they didn’t mean any harm.”
We come up with a million reasons to avoid the difficult conversation. We build it up in our minds and make it much scarier than it actually is.
The truth is, we need to have that conversation because we want to grow or heal the relationship, or we want to solve a problem or the way things are now just isn’t working.
So overcoming that anxiety and having those tough conversations anyway is one of our most imperative challenges and skills we need to build on as individuals.
How to know if you need to have a difficult conversation. Do any of these ring a bell for you?
Things like a client or customer having long-standing invoices, or a vendor delivering poor quality or service repeatedly. A neighbor who constantly does something intrusive or disrespectful. A relative who’s always negative or sticks their nose in your business. A friend who tries to discipline your kids. A spouse who neglects your needs or feelings. A family member or friend who takes advantage. A doctor who belittles or is condescending. A co-worker who oversteps their bounds or an employee who doesn’t do their job properly.
The list is endless. Because let’s face it. People will go as far as we let them.
If you’re like I was, you try to be nice, kind, patient and tolerant. But that can quickly lead to your boundaries being completely pushed aside or trampled on.
And that is where things get messy. We start to tell ourselves stories like: