50. 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Difficult Conversation
“When you know that feelings might be present in a conversation, then that conversation may be difficult for you,” explains host Alejandra. Although any topic of conversation can be hard to discuss, it can be even more challenging for those who struggle with vulnerability. In time for the Language’s Alchemy Podcast’s first anniversary, Alejandra provides the listeners with helpful tips on starting a tough conversation.
The critical thing to remember when beginning a laborious conversation is not to call attention to the difficulty of the topic. By starting a conversation by saying, “We need to talk” or “Don’t get angry,” we’re preparing our loved ones to have an adverse reaction already. Instead, try approaching the conversation like it’s important rather than challenging, and you will have an easier time communicating.
Tune into this week’s episode of Language Alchemy Podcast for a clarifying conversation on how to start a difficult conversation. Learn more about the three common mistakes to avoid, more effective conversation tactics, and how to have stronger relationships with the people around you.
• “A topic or a conversation that's difficult for one person is not necessarily difficult for another.” (3:09-3:16 | Alejandra)
• “When you know that feelings might be present in a conversation, then that conversation may be difficult for you, and when something is difficult for us, we may start with tentativeness, fear, exaggerated caution, and even end up complicating things for ourselves and others.” (4:28-4:52 | Alejandra)
• “One of the mistakes we make when we want to start a difficult conversation is that we say something like, we need to talk, or I need to talk to you. Now, if I say that to you, we need to talk. Most likely, when you hear those words, you get tense. You brace yourself. Or if you hear, I need to talk to you. Maybe you start getting ready to defend or to protect yourself. And if that is the case, it's going to be hard for you to stay open to me, be relaxed, and listen to what I like to say, right? Because of my words and the tone of my voice, we need to talk. I need to talk to you. They are already telling you something difficult or uncomfortable is about to happen.” (5:34-6:33 | Alejandra)
• “If you want a less difficult conversation, avoid starting the interaction with “We need to talk, or I need to talk to you.” (6:34-6:45 | Alejandra)
• “When you have an important conversation, this conversation can be beneficial for you and the other person because it can enhance your life, their life, and the relationship.” (12:00 - 12:12 | Alejandra)
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Podcast Music composed by Gary Lapow: