At some point or another, we all have to have a difficult conversation with someone. Whether with a lover, friend, coworker, or neighbor, something will happen, and you’ll need to clear the air.
Speaking truthfully and authentically is your mandate if you are going to be a healthy person.
However, it’s difficult for most people to be comfortable with “confrontation.” The first thing that happens when we think about having a difficult conversation is we become afraid. And fear creates constriction. So now, before you’ve even spoken to the person, your energy is constricted. First, I want you to take a deep breath and visualize the conversation. See the right and perfect language flowing from your mouth. Visualize and FEEL how you will feel once the conversation is over—satisfied, relieved, peaceful.
Second, don’t go into the conversation looking at it as a confrontation, but rather as you speaking your truth. Use “I” language. “This is how I felt.” “This is my experience.” “This is what happened for me.” When you use “you” language, it puts the other person on the defensive.
Third, take a look at these lists of ineffective and effective communication characteristics. As you read through these, which resonate? Create a snap shot of your communication style. And practice how you can move from ineffective to effective speech.
- Indirect: not getting to the point; never clearly stating intention
- Passive: timid, reserved
- Antagonistic: angry, aggressive, or hostile tone
- Cryptic: underlying message obscured and requires interpretation
- Hidden: true agenda never directly stated
- Non-Verbal: communicated through body language and behaviors rather than words
- One-Way: more talking than listening
- Unresponsive: little interest in the perspective or needs of the other person
- Off-Base: responses and needs of the other person are misunderstood and misinterpreted
- Dishonest: false statements are substituted for true feelings, thoughts, and needs
- Direct: to the point; leaving no doubt as to meaning
- Assertive: not afraid to state what is wanted or why
- Congenial: affable and friendly
- Clear: underlying issues are articulately expressed
- Open: no intentionally hidden messages
- Verbal: clear language used to express ideas
- Two-Way: equal amounts of talking and listening
- Responsive: attention paid to the needs and perspective of the other person
- Honest: true feelings, thoughts, and needs are stated
Speaking authentically deepens intimacy, and you and your relationships deserve the truth.
Have you ever had a great difficult conversation? How did you master it?
I hope you have an amazing week and, as always, take care of you.
Love love love