Have you ever heard the saying, "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all," well in today's society and with family you have to twist that a bit and have will power to tell people what is bothering you, but be self disciplined enough to do with class and respect.
Having difficult conversations with friends and family members can be daunting until they happen, then they can be refreshing. Here are 5 ways to use your will power and self discipline to have those long overdue conversations with family or friends.
1) Start with a positive note about your relationship. Allowing the other person to know something positive prior to what you feel the issue is can stop them from putting up a wall before you even start addressing the issues.
example: I love how we have so much fun together every time we hang out, but I just don't think we get a chance to spend a lot of quality time together.
2) Stay focused on the main reason for the conversation. Getting off track can be distracting and cause an argument instead of a resolution.
example: You: I am not happy with you not being supportive in my decisions
Family: I am not happy that you didn't come to my birthday party last year.
You: I am sorry about that but right now I want to address you being supportive. If I was aware of your feelings last year maybe this wouldn't be happening now.
People will try to turn the conversation around because it's a defense tactic, remember to focus on your main goal, solving this issue.
3) Don't let yourself get upset with their answers. When people feel attacked they can say things to direct blame towards you. Even is there is validation in what they are saying be self disciplined and focus on the overall goal of resolving the issue and try not to get upset if they backlash your comments or concerns.
example: I understand you may be upset with me for some issues, however, we can discuss that after you tell me why you haven't responded to my calls in two weeks.
4) Write down the top three things that are bothering you prior to the conversation and try to come up with at least two reasons that person would be acting the way they have. This allows you to think outside the box and possibly apologize for your part in the situation. Conversations are not always about blame but resolution.
5) Have conversations at a good time. Just because you are ready doesn't mean that person is in the best head space for it. You don't want to have a conversation about your friend being a better friend at her fathers funeral or at the grocery store. Be respectful. When you do it at the right time it allows you to get a better outcome.
Family and friends are important, especially in these times. Save the ones that bring value to your life, get rid of the ones that bring drama to your life and value the ones that feel you are worth their time. Actions speak louder than words and if your conversation leads you to a different journey then head down the path you were supposed to take.
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