How to Have Difficult Conversations

It’s OK to Rock the Boat

Today I want to talk about how to have difficult conversations. When I blog, it’s almost always because something happened in my life, and I like to use my life as lessons for both myself and others around me.

Just recently I had 2 conversations with people who were avoiding having difficult conversations with someone else themselves. If you’re a person who avoids conflict at all costs because you don’t want to rock the boat, you want to be liked, you just don’t want to be that person…I want to challenge you to rethink that, and rethink the need to stay in a bubble.

Our Feelings DO Matter

When we don’t want to rock the boat, we are in essence saying that our opinion and our feelings don’t matter. I’m all about personal growth, as you know. I talk about it in almost every post. When we avoid a conversation that really needs to be had, we’re telling ourselves we don’t really need to grow. Lots of growth can happen in a conflicting conversation.

Stop worrying about rocking the boat – worry about growing as a result of that! Don’t put off those conversations that need to be had. You should obviously think before you speak, but don’t put them off. The more you avoid it, the worse it will get, and just cause more anxiety. Also, expect a positive outcome. Maybe not immediately – but there will be something positive that will come from it.

Grow Your Voice

I’m big on making sure you speak positive words out to your universe. If we continue to be negative and have that negative committee in our heads, we will bring nothing but negativity onto ourselves. Start speaking positive affirmations. This conversation WILL go well. Something great WILL happen from it.

Leaning into conflict is really effective. When you do that, you grow your voice. You grow your confidence. You grow your self-esteem. You grow your need to make sure you’re feeling worthy. You grow in the midst of conflict. Conflicts are rarely pleasant in the short term, but in the long term, there’s a ton of growth that can happen. Often it’s not the conflict but how it was handled as well.

In Preparation for the Conversation

Here are some things you can do before that difficult conversation. They’re really no brainers! Instead of flying off the handle, before you blindly leap, there are some things you can do to prepare.

The first thing is to figure out, what is my purpose behind this conversation? What you’re doing is processing and introspecting. You’re being present within it.

The second thing to ask yourself is, what buttons were pushed by this person?

The third thing is, what have I contributed to this conflict? No one is perfect. We must own up to our half of the conflict as well.

Having the Conversation

So here are some tips on how to approach and begin the conversation.

1. Don’t go into the difficult conversation from a selfish standpoint. Enter the conversation with kindness, humility, understanding, and the desire to serve. Nothing good will come out if you enter it selfishly and thinking it’s all about ME. Go into it with humility and kindness.

2. There’s a formula called the XYZ formula that is very helpful with how to lead the conversation. The X is when you’re speaking to the other party – I saw x or I heard x or I saw you do this. That’s how you start it out.

Then you lead into how you felt – I felt disrespected, I felt angry, I felt betrayed, etc.

Then the Z is the action to follow, such as can we talk about this? I’d like to hear your thinking about this. You’re not just coming from an emotional sense. You’ve prepared, and you go into it with XYZ. It’s more of a conversation than an attack.

3. Be patient. Go slow in the conversation. Remember, you’ve been intentional and present – but the other person hasn’t. Allow them to speak. You’ve already created a script in your head, but they need to be able to speak and hear and form their thoughts as well.

You don’t have to solve this conflict with one conversation either. Make this conversation be the start of a new conversation.

No Growth Happens by Avoiding Conflict

These are my tips on how to have uncomfortable conversations. Don’t avoid them. No growth happens when you avoid them.

I love paying it forward, so if you’ve been in a situation where you have to resolve a conflict or have a difficult conversation, let me know about it! Share this post with someone as well. Pay it forward and help someone else through a difficult conflict.

Having the courage to have a difficult conversation is directly related to your sense of confidence. Are you someone looking to boost your confidence so that you can approach situations like this easier? Then you should consider joining my Facebook group all about confidence – we’re a group of women banded together to lift each other up, inspire each other, and give each other CONFIDENCE!

Check it out! 


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