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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

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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