Tough Talks

Are you afraid to say the wrong thing, or not sure how to start a tough conversation? It’s hard enough when you have a challenge, let alone when conflicts and misunderstandings develop . . .

“Ugh, do I really have to talk to them about this?” you think. Maybe it won’t come up. What if you lose it? You get so angry, and then so sad about it. There is no good that will come of this. How did it get this bad? Why can’t they just shut up? It feels nearly impossible to make this right, considering this conflict and the misunderstandings. Yes, You need to take care of things, but there are huge blocks to having a civil discussion.

In the past, things have just blown out of proportion. You’ve tried ignoring it, but that’s not working in the long run. You’ve tried keeping busy, and that works OK until you try to sleep. You think about lawyers, but that feels cold. You’ve tried talking to friends, but while they’re sympathetic, it doesn’t help you when you need to face the person you need to talk to.

It’s hard. Sometimes things we need to learn the most, aren’t taught. While everyone might know how to handle technology, people aren’t taught how to talk to each other, especially about hard areas. About conflict. You have no idea how to approach tough talks, how to add sanity to any discussions. Families aren’t often told that it’s healthy to agree to disagree at times.

Good News! A few simple steps can totally shift how you handle tough talks. Once you learn for example, how to set conversations up, it makes a huge difference. When it comes down to it, you often have similar needs as those you’re struggling to understand. Get this common ground clear, and you can reach a point of compromise, or at least agreeing to disagree – while you take care of the business at hand.

Denise Barnes, MA, LPC, had her biggest communication lessons in her own eccentric family, where like many people, she learned what you DON’T want to do when a tough talk is needed. This fueled her training in two big communication tools, Motivational Interviewing, and Nonviolent Communication. With these simple pointers, tough talks can be opportunities more connection with those who matter most to us.

To contact Denise, call 303.501.7402, or email her at mdenisebarnes at gmail dot com. You can also schedule a 15 minute consult in her calendar, over to the right.