If you are concerned about a loved one and want to express how you are feeling, it is important to express your concerns in a manner that doesn’t come across as negative or judgemental. These tips will help.
Check Yourself First
Before you prepare what you want to say, ask yourself what you know about the situation for sure. Many times we read into things, make incorrect assumptions, or assume the worst-case scenario. So, bring things back to what you know for sure. If you skip this step your conversation will feel both negative and judgemental to the person on the receiving end.
Ask More Questions
Don’t bombard your loved one, but put together a few more questions. These should be open-ended questions such as “Tell me more about your plans?” or “How did this all come about?”. Avoid loaded questions that include the assumptions you have already made, such as “Don’t you think you are jumping into this a bit too fast?”.
Ask If You Are Welcome To Share
Last but not least, we must not assume that our input is welcome or desired—so ask if you are welcome to share your thoughts or concerns. Don’t make it about you, which you do if you state things like, “I’m just trying to understand.” It’s not your life and not for you to understand. This can be difficult for you to comprehend, but consider how you feel when someone attempts to talk you out of a decision you’ve made.
If your loved one declines your invitation to share, or your advice, remember—it is their journey, not yours.