An Essential Guide for Having The Hard Conversations


Feeling physically sick because you're so nervous. Thats how I get when I have to have a hard conversation. What I’m about to say could spark crictizism, judgement or rejection.

  • Asking my boss for time off in the busy season.
  • Telling a good friend it’s not working out and she has to find somewhere else to live.
  • Telling your work colleague that you can't keep working her weekend shifts.
  • Asking my sister to pay back the $200 she's forgotten about.
  • Telling your parents to not come over so much and respect your privacy.

It’s these very conversations that make me want to stay quiet, avoid the uncomfortable feelings and just keep the peace.

Staying quiet is tempting but it sacrifices your happiness.

Expressing how you feel is absolutely necessary. If you don’t you’ll become a bucket over flowing with resentment towards yourself and others. I know this feeling all too well. I never spoke up for myself, I avoided the uncomfortable feelings of hard conversations at all costs even if it meant sacrificing my own happiness.

I finally learnt how to have the hard conversations. Looking back I now realise how important it is to speak up and have the courage to say how you feel and brave the uncomfortable feelings, knowing that it’s worth it even if you are crictized, judged or rejected. Here’s how:

1.The 'what ifs'. We often imagine the conversation ending in disaster. What if the person will yell at us and never want to speak to us again? We imagine the outcome to be much worse than it turns out. Asking my boss for time off I imagine getting fired but I don’t, I get the time off with no problems. Sometimes we fear the reaction so much that it makes us just want to keep quiet but in the end we suffer. Know that the disaster you’re imagining most likely won’t happen. Take a deep breath and remember that what ever happens you’ll be ok. 

2. Listen to your gut. Ignoring your gut feeling too often is how that bucket of resentment starts to fill. Your gut tells you somethings not right but you try to ignore it so you can avoid having to have a hard conversation. Get good at listening to your gut. When I get that gut feeling and I feel something isn’t right I take a break. I go somewhere I can be alone, that’s when my gut feeling becomes stronger and what I want becomes clearer. How you feel matters, you matter and you have the right to express how you feel and what you want.

3. Hype girls. My friends and my sisters are my hype girls. When I’m confused about having hard conversations I turn to them for support. They encourage me and give me confidence to have the hard conversation.

4. You got this. You are stronger and braver than you think. It’s ok to feel scared, it’s natural. Don’t let the fear stop you. You can do this. You can have these hard conversations. It’s not easy I know. These days I’m much better at having them but even now I still can get overwhelmed with fear and get that physically sick feeling. It’s only temporary. Once the words come out and the conversation is over I feel so relieved and realise it was all worth it.

Having a hard conversation isn't fun, it can bring up some pretty uncomfortable feelings. Just because they're hard doesn't mean they're not worth having. They're totally worth it. Say what you need and deal with the uncomfortable feelings temporarily. You won't be filled with regret and resentment later.

What hard conversation have you had that didn't turn out as disastrous as you first imagined?

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