The elephant gets awfully heavy when it hangs around the same room for too long. It might seem easier to avoid difficult conversations, but after a while, it distances us from the ones we love. Those invisible distances grow wider the longer we delay saying what needs to be said.
Typically fear gets in the way, as we conjure up scenarios that scare us into silence. Many times, however, those scenarios never actually happen. Sometimes, our conversations don’t go as we wish. Fortunately, there are ways to proceed which will help create more harmony for everyone involved.
Here are some tips to help you navigate difficult conversations with more ease.
Get clear about what you intend to say. Clarity will help help you articulate more effectively. Decide what is truly important, and do your best to let go of the rest. Even if you don’t attain your desired outcome, you will empower yourself by saying what needs to be said.
Prepare yourself emotionally. Before your conversation, attend to emotional triggers. The less emotionally charged you are, the easier it will be to articulate clearly. Additionally, it will be easier for others to understand you when you’re coming from a calm clear place.
To soothe emotional triggers, try tapping, or any other self-soothing technique. Readjust your intention, if necessary, in order to help yourself feel more at ease. You might choose to work with a healing professional to help prepare.
Visualize your conversation going well. Imagine feeling confident, calm, and relaxed. Visualize a fruitful conversation where you’re satisfied with the outcome. See yourself speaking with integrity and clear intention.
Let go of trying to prove you’re right. Trying to convince someone that you’re right can prevent you from truly hearing the other person. This creates conflict rather than harmony. Instead of trying to control the outcome, allow for what’s most beneficial for all involved. If this feels hard, you’re not alone. It can feel very uncomfortable. It takes courage to persevere through the discomfort, while remaining open to others’ opinions. And courage is a good thing.
Get curious. Ask questions to learn about different points of view. Show interest in others’ experiences. Listen deeply and tune into what’s happening for them. Compassionate curiosity will help bridge division. It might also encourage the same curiosity from others.
Share ideas for helpful solutions. Be open to compromise. Allow yourself to express your own opinions, even if others don’t share them. Remind yourself, and others, that the best outcome is one that holds benefit for all.
In these time of conflict and division, I believe it’s crucial to find ways to reconnect with the ones we love, and in turn, our friends and neighbors. These suggestions are culled my own experiences, and those of my clients.
Because each situation is different, some suggestions might not apply to your situation. For example, there can be times when compromise is not possible, or beneficial. Yet, speaking from a calm clear place is always helpful. In other words, start by creating harmony within, and go from there.
Wishing You Peace and Harmony,
Need help preparing for a difficult conversation? Contact me.