We’ve all been there. Dreading a hard conversation, then surprised at how easy it was. All that wasted time worrying. Or, going into a hard conversation and afterwards realizing that we approached it all wrong because we made a bunch of incorrect assumptions. Here’s how to do it better next time.
Ask Yourself These 3 Questions
The first step is to start with what you know. For example, if you called one of your nearest and dearest who always calls you back ASAP—but it’s been a week and they haven’t responded. So, you think that maybe they are mad at you and you comb over you last several texts and conversations. Now you have identified what it is you said that upset her and are roleplaying how to make it right. But before you get too worked up, ask yourself these 3 questions.
- What is 100 percent true? It has been 7 days since your friend has not returned your call. That is true, but everything else is a false narrative.
- How is my story affecting my behavior? Your false narrative if stressing you out and eating up time you could be spending that is far more productive.
- Could there be another possibility? Did you forget your friend is at a conference? On vacation? Do they have family in town? Maybe they are sick? There is always an endless list of other options.
The workup to the hard conversations is what makes it so hard but by keeping a clear perspective you can ease your pre-conversation stress—and enter the hard conversation with an open mind.