5 Steps to Navigating Tough Conversations
Family and friends often gather to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company throughout the holidays. It is common for difficult conversations to arise during these times together. Whether you have plans to approach someone, or anticipate loved ones approaching you about an uncomfortable topic there are ways to avoid unproductive or explosive conversations. Follow these five tips to help achieve a productive and meaningful exchange:
Take a moment to think about what the person has said and reflect before responding
- Set conversation goals.
A good start to a productive conversation is making sure both parties are on the same page about conversation goals. Work towards a mutual understanding about a perceived issue first before going into problem solving.
Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes will help in understanding their perspective and lead to a more fruitful conversation.
- Activated emotions.
Being aware of your emotions and those around will help you be more conscious of the conversation flow. If you are tired or overwhelmed, now may not be the best time for a serious discussion.
If you have tried to diffuse and still feel your emotions getting away from you, it’s time to shift the conversation. Ask the other person for a moment of pause and re-evaluate the information. If you feel comfortable, you can restart the conversation when you are ready.
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