As someone who used to shut down and not express myself, and having moved through that to a place where I’m now super comfortable having the MOST difficult conversations, I can honestly tell you that your entire life will change when you embrace having those icky convos.
Obviously, there are SO many different reasons we need to have difficult conversations, and each one will require a different approach. You also need to think about WHO you’re having the conversation with, knowing that there will be some people in your life who will project their feelings on to you, some will react without thinking and others may go quiet.
No matter who it is you’re talking to, go in prepared.
And what I mean by that is - rather than just thinking about what you want and need to say, think about who you’re speaking to and how they may respond.
That way, prior to having the conversation, you have already thought about what the possible reactions will be, meaning that you won’t be caught off guard when it happens.
So, here's a few of the key aspects to effectively communicating your needs with heart.
1. Give yourself time to process.
What I mean by this is don’t launch into a conversation without thinking about what you’re saying and more importantly what you WANT to say. It’s the quickest way to start a fight and make you feel like shit.
So, if someone says something to you that doesn’t sit right, or there’s something that’s unresolved or something troubling you - rather than starting a screaming match or laying blame or just speaking for the sake of speaking - take the time to think about what it is that bothers you, or that’s unresolved or that you need to communicate.
So maybe this means sleeping on it. Journaling on it. Going for a walk. But just giving yourself time to step away whatever is going on, so you can come back to you and then reassess what it is you want to say.
By doing this, it means that when you have the conversation, you’re able to do it in a really productive way, and articulate what you want to say.
The same goes for texts. Don’t ever feel like you need to respond to someone immediately. I am the worst at remembering to text friends back sometimes - and it doesn’t cause arguments because we are grown adults that realise sometimes we just forget.
BUT - if someone is launching at you in a text, take time to think about what you want to say in response, what they’re saying, and what you REALLY want to say - that isn’t going to create more harm.
In saying that, I am a big advocate for just not responding if someone is just abusing you and there’s nothing you can really say in return.
2. Think about your approach.
Again, this comes down to firstly thinking about what approach is going to make you feel comfortable, but also what is going to make the other person comfortable.
So thinking about the little things, like:
Where are you going to have the conversation? Somewhere mutually agreeable and comfortable, where you have time and space to talk without being interrupted
When are you going to have the conversation? This is super important, especially if it’s going to be a longer chat. So taking into consideration what each of you have on, when you’re going to be alone and when you have time and space to think.
Thinking about both perspectives. You obviously have something you need to get off your chest, but have you stopped to think about the other persons perspective. Think about how you feel but also think about how the other person might be feeling.
If you want to have a conversation with heart, where you are able to express yourself and your needs, you also need to think about the other person.
So it might be that you say to them “Hey, I really want to talk to you about something that’s been on my mind, and I want to work out a time that suits both of us where we can sit and chat without having to rush off to do something.”
Super simple right. But it’s often the small details we forget.
If you think about the start of any relationship, friendship or romantic - you always think about the other persons needs. You want to make them happy and you’ll do anything to do that - and vice versa. But the longer we know each other, the more we tend to forget about the other person, especially if our needs aren’t being met. Which leads to the next thing
3. Explain your needs and how you’re FEELING.
Yes that’s right. I want you to use that icky and scary F word… Feelings.
Sometimes we can explain something until we’re black and blue in the face and feel like we aren’t getting anywhere… And mayb