How To Have Tough Conversations With Someone You Care About

stock-footage-african-american-friends-having-conversation-at-caf-x-eNothing in this world can solve an issue between people like a good ol’ face to face conversation. Despite what you think, they don’t always end with drinks being thrown or someone being carried away by a security guard that pops up out of nowhere like we see on television. Conversations are essential to building, maintaining and strengthening any relationship – especially as and when that relationship has been challenged. (Just to be clear, this can be any type of relationship, not just a romantic one.)

The kicker about conversations is that we don’t really know how to have them when we need to. When everything is going great and all parties are happy, we don’t have a problem getting together and having a talk. Oh but when the tables turn and some sh*t hits the fan, we avoid one another like the plague. I don’t know about you, but that really gets me heated.

Talking to someone about something that is uncomfortable or may be hurtful is not easy, but it’s necessary. Instead of trying to avoid the issue, lie your way out of the problem or acting like you’re oblivious to the situation try to have a conversation to resolve it. Here’s how.

Put yourself in their position and think about how you’d like to be treated.
The problem with society these days is that we’ve gotten beside ourselves and think that we’re so important that only our feelings matter. This is not the case. Try to look at the situation from their point of view and you’ll likely find that you would want some answers or an explanation too. If you share a friendship or relationship with someone that obviously means you care for them and vice versa. Being inconsiderate of their feelings is a quick way to ruin that bond that you all share. Remember, it’s not all about you.

Think about what you plan to say.
I used to have a huge problem with just lashing out and saying the first thing that was on my mind. While I still have my moments, I’ve gotten a lot better at thinking before I speak. It takes practice. If you have a close friend or someone you can confide in about the situation, do a little role playing. Ask that person to pretend to be whoever you need to talk to and tell them what you plan to say. Because they aren’t in the situation themselves, they’ll be able to tell you if your delivery is appropriate or if you’re not really being clear.

Choose a neutral place to talk.
My personal favorite place to have tough talks is at a local park or near water (water calms me). Having an intense conversation in a neutral place is important because this way you won’t be in their environment (so they can’t kick you out) and you’re more likely to focus on the issue rather than getting sidetracked. You both know why you met there so your mind will be on making some progress.

Even if it hurts, tell the truth.
If you or the other person end up with some hurt feelings, it’s OK..I promise. Hurt feelings are not the end of the world. What’s important is that you want to always tell the truth, even when it hurts. In most tough conversations hurt does occur, but there are ways we can minimize that hurt and make it easier to deal with. In my opinion, being honest is the best way. You’re actually doing that person a favor by telling them the truth. Your honesty will help them make an informed decision and feel better about their choice. In return, your mind will be at peace because you don’t have to constantly lie or keep up with a previous lie you told.

Realize the conversation will only help you.
Regardless if the conversation ends with feelings being hurt, it still helped you. You wanna know how? You faced a situation with bravery and now you have experience for the next tough conversation you’ll have (because there will be others). If you and the other person both want to maintain your friendship or relationship, whether you know it or not that conversation strengthened your bond. You all can now bring any issue to the table in the confidence that you will be heard and the issue will be fixed.

These tips are just a few pointers on how to be mature and talk things out with your loved ones. No one likes to be in an uncomfortable situation but in life, those situations happen. It’s up to us if we let them get the best of us or be the cause of us losing a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or marriage.

How do you handle tough conversations? Share your tips in the comment section below.

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