Write it down.
Sometimes when preparing to have particular types of conversations we spend a lot of time gathering information and planning what we want to say.
We do this because we want to be prepared and we want things to run smoothly. Also, many of us have probably had situations where we got flustered or overwhelmed and forgot what we’d planned to say.
However, despite this, we sometimes don’t end up writing things down.
Maybe it feels silly and you’re worried about sounding rigid when you talk or appearing to be reading off some sort of script. And so when we have the conversation, even if it goes alright, once it’s over we realise their were things we forgot to say.
It seems sometimes that we shy away from being in conversation or an environment with people that we disagree with.
I’ve previously written that I think it’s worth unfollowing people on social media that you disagree with. The reason for this is that on social media it’s rare that people with differing opinions have a back and forth that benefits either of them.
However, I don’t think we should seek to create a life that is simply an echo chamber of our own thoughts and beliefs.
It’s a great thing to be able to engage with people that have different opinions to you. I think the problem arises when we forget that we have the option to accept someone else’s opinion and understand that they see things differently without having to prove your point or change someone’s mind.
As much as you might know what you need and even want, doesn’t mean anyone else does.
But sometimes we forget that and we end up feeling frustrated. We end up then wondering why the other person won’t say or do certain things. We take it personally and we get upset.
However, more often than not it could all be sorted with a simple conversation. All you have to do is say what you need and then the other person can either meet that or they can’t. If they can, great but if they can’t it’s then up to you to figure out how you want to proceed. But at least you won’t be left wondering why your needs aren’t being met.
We might not like them but we have to have them.
We put off difficult conversations because they make us nervous.
We’re worried about how our words will come out, how our words will be perceived, how the person on the receiving end will feel, we’re scared of being vulnerable and we worry that we might regret it.
The list goes on.
Unfortunately, no matter how you might feel, the conversation still needs to be had. You can have it now or you can have it later.
As much as it is difficult it is also important. I think that’s the bit worth focusing on and is much more of an incentive to get yourself talking. Don’t focus on the nerves or hoping you can control how the other person will react. Just remind yourself that the conversation is important and worth having.
Sometimes we assume that the solution to a problem has to be complicated. We overlook the little things forgetting how big an impact can be caused by something small.
And so we go in search of something complicated but to no avail. Then the problem continues and maybe even grows which causes us to become more frustrated.
Until finally we decide to start small, to have a conversation, to go to bed a little earlier or to drink more water.
In time the problem will begin to dissolve until suddenly it’s gone. However, it’s important to remember that these small solutions aren’t quick fixes. It could take weeks of conversations to fix a big problem.
Some of the most valuable conversations to have are the ones that are most difficult but that shouldn’t be a reason not to have them.
Even though it might be difficult, challenging or uncomfortable it allows room for learning, growth and understanding that may have not taken place otherwise.
Of course, there is a chance the conversation won’t end well and perhaps you’ll walk away feeling frustrated.
But if the conversation really matters then perhaps it is still worth a try.
Some people enjoy arguing.
They love it, it fuels them and they will seek it out.
They’re rarely interested in understanding other people or sharing what they know instead they want to dominate and they want to be right.
You may find yourself often getting drawn in but by then it’s too late, you’ve gotten swept up in it all. All of sudden you’re passionately explaining your point of view hoping the other person will take it in enough to agree to disagree and move on.
But the other person tells you no, they tell you you’re wrong and they try to invalidate your opinion by saying you don’t understand.
And in these kinds of situations when you’re being baited in order for the dialogue to continue it’s easy to get riled up. It’s easy to try to get the other person to accept that it’s okay to see things differently. More often than not your efforts are to no avail.
And so the growth point is in choosing to not engage even if you think this time might be different.
The exchanges are rarely helpful and you just end up leaving them frustrated wishing you didn’t once again get drawn in.
If you find yourself regularly having conversations that don’t go as planned, in the sense that the outcome you intended wasn’t achieved (or you just end up getting frustrated) it’s worth taking the time to figure out where things went wrong.
Sometimes, it is a simple case of two people with different perspectives not being willing to listen to each other.
Other times it could be that before you get into the meat of the conversation you need to establish what the purpose is, to avoid going off track.
So often it’s easy to blame the other person, to say that the issue is that they weren’t listening. But, maybe there are things that you can do differently even if it is simply walking away from the conversation earlier and choosing to not engage with the person.
You don’t want to find yourself in a cycle of getting swept up in a conversation you don’t actually want to be in.
And, maybe you simply picked the wrong person to have a conversation with.
If that’s the case, use your past experience as a learning point to realise that you need to have this conversation with someone else next time.
One of the things I enjoy writing about is the dream life.
But it’s more than just words it’s about the kind of life I aspire to. Whilst daydreaming one night I realised that I’ve never really shared my dream life in great detail.
One of the main reasons is, there is not one set type of life that I want. Instead I am open to a variety of different scenarios. But another reason is, it can be scary to share your aspirations. As soon as you consider it questions like ‘what will people say if things don’t work out?’ start popping up.
However I’m learning that, it’s good to talk about what you want. It doesn’t need to be on a blog or social media, it could be with friends or family instead. I think sometimes with daydreams because it is something we create in our minds, we end up convincing ourselves that it can’t come true.
But the dream life is possible and I think simply talking about it can be one of the first steps to bringing it to life.
It’s easy to talk about the weather, your favourite TV show, what you had for dinner and what you got up to at the weekend.
But often when it comes to topics like mental health, fears and struggles suddenly talking becomes difficult.
Part of why it’s so difficult is because we don’t do it enough. What if having difficult conversations could be made easier with practice?
Talking when it’s difficult often requires you to venture out into new territory even if it is with someone you’re familiar with. But what you gain from having difficult conversations is what makes it worth doing.