April 28, 2008

how to have a difficult conversation

(courtesy of my mother, who has lots of sources of her own)

Questions to ask yourself when you're considering having a difficult conversations:
1)What keeps me from having this conversation?
2) Where do I want to end up at the end of the conversation?
3) Is this the right time/right place

-Focus on the Positive. "I want to have this difficult conversation because I respect you and our relationship/friendship and I am afraid if I wait or don't have this conversation, resentments will build and harm our relationship"
-Beware of strong feelings. Confront them in yourself before you start the conversation with another person
-Ask for feedback from the other person as you go along - have a dialog not a lecture

Most "minefields" in conversations are because one person or both feels one or more of the following:
(1) I am not competent
(2) I am not a good person
(3) I am not loved
When you think someone is overreacting or taking something too personally - consider which of the minefields you're touching on with the current topic and either address it or drop it.

"relationships are so important - and a whole lot of work"
-the one and only comment I've ever appreciated from a therapist

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