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Last Updated on February 27, 2018

How to Talk When Talking Seems Impossible

How to Talk When Talking Seems Impossible

Sometimes we just want to be left alone. When you’re angry, frustrated, or disappointed, you may not feel like chatting about it. If someone does try to talk to you, they’ll probably seem annoying.

It’s tempting to ignore them. You might also say something like “leave me alone,” or “I don’t need you”. These are natural responses to the nagging individual but these could be things that you’d regret saying. Either way, you usually end up inflicting harm when you can’t figure out how to express yourself.

Innocent Words Become Murderers

When couples are dealing with negative emotions, they have a hard time conveying their feelings in a loving manner. It’s not just what you say, but it’s also how you say it. Even if you aren’t angry at your partner, you may unintentionally take a harsh tone with them.

This is completely understandable. When you’re dealing with negative emotions, controlling your expressions and tone of voice is difficult. It’s like inside of you, your willpower is trying hard to fight the negative emotions and really have no room for dealing with people, even though they are only trying to be nice to you.

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    Couples can get caught up in the negativity and forget that this behavior is out of character. The slighted partner may judge their significant other and wonder, “Why are they doing this to me?” What was once a problem for one partner has escalated into a serious communication breakdown.

      When couples don’t learn to express their negative feelings in constructive ways, they can make one another feel unloved. If one member of the couple doesn’t want to open up about feelings, the other may assume that this means that they don’t care for or value them.

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      Words can be like daggers. If one partner say hurtful things, the other may doubt the relationship.

        Talking Isn’t the Only Way Out

        During difficult times, it’s critical for couples to recognize when they’re having trouble dealing with emotions. The struggle is not a reflection of the relationship or the love that they feel for one another.

        Talking may not be the best option during volatile periods, but that doesn’t mean that couples should avoid expressing themselves to one another. There are other ways to explain troubling feelings without hurting your partner. Writing a letter is a great option.

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        You may be thinking that a text message would suffice, but a text will not do in this situation. Text messages are too casual, and require almost no effort. It’s also difficult to accurately capture your tone in a text, which could lead to the same problems as speaking about your feelings.

        Writing a letter demonstrates that you value the relationship and want to make an effort to communicate effectively.

        In Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, John Gray explains that there are two types of letters you can write to express your feelings:

        1. A letter to tell all your thoughts and feelings
        2. Another letter on how you want to me responded

        After you complete the letter to express your feelings, you may not feel the need to talk about the issue anymore. The first letter is a tool to help you get the jumble of thoughts and emotions onto the page. After you’ve committed the internal turmoil to paper, you may feel better.

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        Your response letter is what you would want your partner to tell you after hearing about your emotions.

        After you’ve written both letters, share them with your partner. Writing these two letters not only lets your partner know how you’re feeling, but it also shows them what you need in order to feel better. Unless you show your partner what you need, they won’t know how to love you more.

        Always Tell, Even If It Seems Difficult

        Keeping your mouth shut is a surefire way to create tension in a relationship, but talking out your thoughts poorly is also damaging. Instead of getting frustrated with your partner when they’re trying to help you, use the letter-writing method to express your feelings and teach your partner how to comfort you.

        By writing out your feelings, you’ll notice decreased tension in your relationship, and you’ll feel as if you’ve been heard. You’ll be able to communicate in a loving way instead of chasing away the people that love you most.

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        Anna Chui

        Communication Expert

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        The Gentle Art of Saying No

        The Gentle Art of Saying No

        No!

        It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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        But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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        What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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        But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

        1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
        2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
        3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
        4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
        5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
        6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
        7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
        8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
        9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
        10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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