Why We Don’t Have That Critical Conversation

April 15, 2019

When was the last time that you looked forward to having a difficult conversation? Most of us run from confrontation and as a consequence, we carry the weight from unresolved conflict and sub-par relationships.

What keeps us from having more emotional courage to confront?

  1. You don’t feel safe. You may feel that the difficult conversation you need to have will place you in a vulnerable position. You may even worry that there are negative repercussions from confronting the issue. If this is the case, you may be dealing with an unsafe person, and there is deeper work to be done in order for you to feel accepted, respected, and supported (see the book, Safe People by Henry Cloud and John Townsend).
  2. You fear loss. You may feel that by having that difficult conversation you will risk being rejected or unloved. If you identify with this, ask yourself what you fear happening most. Most likely, as you examine this, you will recognize that your fear is not rational. Ask yourself what positive things you can gain by having the conversation, and identify how this will positively affect your work, life, and others affected by the current negative state – a great start to lifting up emotional courage.
  3. You aren’t comfortable with negative emotions. Human beings don’t like discomfort, and most of us have not been taught the value of negative emotions, which make us uncomfortable. Rather than avoiding these, consider managing them. Negative emotions are key indicators that simply invite you to pay more attention to the situations that are creating them. Use these smart and helpful alerts to decipher what about the situation or problem is upsetting. This will help you to widen your lens as you consider solutions.

Next time, we will explore a framework that will help you to have that difficult conversation more easily and in a way that invites collaboration – a win-win!

Related Articles

Adult Children: Relating to Them in the Best Way

Adult Children: Relating to Them in the Best Way

The adult-parent and the adult-child generations are having struggles with each other:  struggles in communication, in values and in just how to get along and care about each other.  However, while the generations are different, they have much more in common than they...

read more
Trusting After Trust Has Been Broken

Trusting After Trust Has Been Broken

All relationships take work, whether they are a marriage, a dating relationship, a family member, a business associate or a friend. But one of the most difficult situations is when someone breaks trust with us. It could involve lying, unfaithfulness or betrayal...

read more
Patience is a Better Friend than a Foe

Patience is a Better Friend than a Foe

It is just hard, hard, hard to be patient. It’s so easy to be frustrated and even jump the gun on situations that involve time, and ending up making poor decisions.  But learning to be competent in the skill of patience is a secret that people who accomplish great...

read more