Preparing for a Tough Conversation
Sometimes you know a particular conversation will be difficult. Maybe you're worried about breaking up with your significant other or confronting a friend about his or her betrayal. Maybe you simply are nervous about presenting a new idea to a parent or teacher. Whatever the situation, preparing ahead of time can make the final conversation easier.
One way to make things easier is to think out what you want to say ahead of time. In the case of presenting a new idea, you might try presenting it to someone else first and getting his or her feedback on what you said. If it's something more private, you could try writing out your feelings and thoughts first to help you organize what you want to say, as well as clarify how you feel.
Simply thinking through what you would like to say in the conversation and what your purpose is can make it easier for you when you're actually having the conversation. These steps can also make you less nervous or worried before the conversation, making it more likely that the conversation will go well. Even if you don't feel comfortable talking about the specific subject that the conversation will be about, try talking to a friend about your nervousness to help you feel more comfortable.
Depending on what type of conversation you're having, you might find it helpful to tell the person you're talking to that you're nervous or concerned. For instance, if you were to talk to a friend about an eating disorder, you might start the conversation with "I don't really know how to bring this up, and I know it might be uncomfortable to talk about, but I'm really concerned that you haven't eaten lunch in the past two weeks." This tells the other person how you're feeling but also demonstrates that you think the conversation is important enough to move beyond your discomfort and worry.
This sort of disclaimer might not be appropriate when you are trying to impress someone (such as in a job interview, where it's best to appear poised and composed even if you feel nervous) but it can be very helpful in other situations.
Finally, if the conversation is weighing on your mind considerably, you might try distracting yourself for a little while. Taking a few deep breaths and clearing your mind can help quell physical symptoms of nervousness. Jogging or doing anything physical can also help you to shed nervous fidgeting and give your mind a break from worry. For more ideas on how to relax, check out this page about stress.
When we communicate with another person, what we say is not necessarily the most important part of our message. Our body language and our tone can say so much more than our words. Through successful communication, you develop a sense of trust, the second building block of The ABCs.
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