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Having A Difficult Conversation? Here Are 5 Tips To Make It A Breeze

Having A Difficult Conversation? Here Are 5 Tips To Make It A Breeze

We all face the prospect of having a difficult conversation every now and then. It may be talking to your partner about a sensitive topic, or confronting family and friends about things that make you unhappy. Maybe you need to have a difficult talk with your child’s school teacher, or you need to confront a neighbor about an issue. It may even be just negotiating your way out of a difficult situation or asking for a pay rise that is a challenge for you to discuss.

When we are alone, we know all the things that we want to say, but once we are faced with the moment of truth, it is easy to clam up and lose what could be an excellent opportunity to resolve an unpleasant situation.

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Here are 5 tips for making difficult conversations a breeze.

1. Make A List

Is the conversation even worth having? Sometimes we react emotionally to a situation and need some time to reflect on the problem before shooting our mouth off. Making a list of things about how the conversation will improve the situation may show us if it is in fact going to make the issue better or worse.

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2. Calm Down

Taking some time to assess the problem will allow you to stabilize your emotions. The best way to have a difficult conversation is to be level-headed and pragmatic. There is no point confronting someone when you are angry or upset. You can still communicate those feelings to them without making a scene and sabotaging the process of resolution.

3. Perfect Timing

It is best to have a difficult conversation with someone when you can both have discretion and give each other your full attention. If you are going to be distracted and interrupted, the message and possible solution is going to get lost in the chaos. You have all the time in the world. Don’t rush it. Pick your moment.

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4. Be Assertive

Being assertive is not being aggressive, it’s being strong enough to stick to your argument and making sure you have your say. If you are interrupted and the person becomes defensive – wait. Give them the time to have their say, but then return to your own point of view. Assertive also does not mean stubborn. Sometimes, people have a valid reason for their behavior. Being open to change your mind and understand another person’s experience doesn’t make you weak; actually, it makes you the bigger person.

5. Take The Small Wins

Having a difficult conversation will not always give you the outcome you envisioned. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about communicating your feelings and perspective, and hopefully doing things better next time. A difficult conversation is always worth having, even if it is just to get things off your chest.

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Featured photo credit: quotesgram.com via quotesgram.com

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Diane Koopman

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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