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Thursday, December 2, 2021

How to have a difficult conversation with curiosity and vulnerability

Raise hands for those who value good communication, transparency, and directness and honesty. I will go out without hesitation, guessing all of you will say yes. Now, if you are doing well in all the things you value: communication, transparency and honesty, then raise your hand. Are your hands still there? Whenever someone asked this question in a group environment, more than half of the group members would slowly let go of their hands and look around with an expression of “Uh, guilt”. this is normal. Tough conversations are just like this — hard to have — there are many factors that make them difficult: self, not wanting to hurt feelings, insecurity, restrictive beliefs, lack of self-confidence, etc.

Although I am not an expert in the field of tough conversations, and I must have made many mistakes in avoiding them or conducting conversations in a way I was not proud of in the past, I am able to own them, and many times this is my friends I have repeatedly asked for suggestions.

With the help of treatment, many Dare to be first The podcast listened to Brené Brown’s speech, but had a difficult conversation. Here are five scenes I encountered recently and how I dealt with them.


Scenes: In the past year, I felt a little estranged from a dear friend. No matter what the reason, I just know that it feels bad and I don’t want to lose friendship. When we went to lunch, I simply said, “I think we may be drifting away now. I don’t know if this is true, but I cherish our friendship and want to make sure we have some space to talk about anything. Things help strengthen it. How do you feel?”

My heart keeps beating. Many scenes flashed through my mind, too long to list them all. The key to this conversation is to be curious and understand her feelings and judgments.

I like her asking, “Do you have any specific examples that make you feel this way?” In my answer, I did not accuse me, but shared my feelings at the moment. This allows us to address deeper concerns and engage in open discussions.

In the end, we all felt a little alienated, but there was no special reason other than life, children and the pandemic, and we were committed to re-prioritizing our time and investment in each other’s lives. We said, “You are an important person in my life, I want to invest more time in this friendship, this is what it looks like…”

We basically redefine our friendship, which is completely reasonable after more than 10 years, because we as human beings are all growing and evolving.

course: Stay curious, listen to the other person’s reactions, and don’t judge them. Their truth is their experience, and the goal is to establish the next step or the next chapter. Here, no one is trying to win or compare with each other, we all come from a place where we want to understand each other’s feelings and support each other in the next chapter.

Romantic relationship

I can use the whole article to discuss difficult conversations in dating, mainly because this is where I fail most, But go after it completely.

Scenes: I’m in a new (six-month) relationship and I’ve reached a point where I no longer have fun. This relationship feels very one-sided in many ways. In this particular situation, I really hope that I can express my feelings earlier and try to solve it, but no, this is one thing I am still learning. About six months later, I realized that this relationship is not suitable for me, but it is difficult for me to break this relationship because he is a very good person, yes, you guessed it, I don’t want to hurt his feelings. With the help of my therapist, I started to think about how I wanted to feel and how I wanted him (hope) to feel, and entered the conversation very friendly. I didn’t want to save it, I knew it was not for me, but we did operate in similar industry circles, and I cared about making sure it ended in good faith.

I said: “I realize this might be surprising because I haven’t shared this with you in my voice. This is a great study for me. I appreciate the time we spent together, but , I am looking for more relationships. I still want to support you and your work and respect everything you do, if you can accept it.” Although he was a little surprised, he was not completely caught off guard. From that moment on, we all complimented a bit and remained friendly.

course: When you know you do not To save this relationship, I don’t think there is a need to blame and provide scenarios where it went wrong—especially if you haven’t solved it in the past. It is very important for me to admit that I did not try and work hard with my own voice or put forward anything-for me, it is the fragility of being transparent, honest and admitting that I was wrong.


In every job and role I have held, I always propose a salary increase or a raise. In fact, I don’t think this is a difficult conversation, but to promote my work more. I hope everyone feels comfortable and confident because most people are underpaid and/or don’t even know their value. . I am grateful to be able to work in a transparent salary circle now-I swear, once you start to understand what others are doing, you will not ask for more.

In my opinion, the toughest conversations in the workplace are those of a colleague or manager you work with consistently, especially when you are in an office environment rather than a remote environment. How can I emphasize the importance of not delaying these important conversations, because the longer you wait, the more likely your work and mental health will be hit.

Scenes: During my work trip to host large-scale events, I felt that something was wrong with one of my colleagues. Under normal circumstances, they will be enthusiastic, enthusiastic, and arrange an appropriate time to hang up, but my experience with them is completely the opposite. This is a fairly fast trip, and we don’t have a lot of time alone, so it’s not appropriate to say anything now. In addition, I am still trying to determine how I feel about it. Every emotion exists: confusion, injury, frustration, irritation, and even questioning what I might have done to make them feel that way. When I got home, this feeling was still there, so a full week later, I asked to call.

Knowing that our working relationship is very good-they are the type that values ​​vulnerability and bold communication-I simply said, “I know you are the type that values ​​vulnerability and open communication, so I want to talk about our recent events I think something is wrong, you are not the usual self, are you okay?” I decided to remove myself from this person initially and find out what happened to them (if any). They responded that they were dissatisfied with their role and shared that it was not an excuse to project it onto me, and felt bad about it affecting me in this way.

We decided together that we hope to make time every month to contact and get rid of the hardships of the work model. I am happy to report that this helps a lot. Sometimes it is necessary to get rid of the “work” in the workplace to truly understand each other; although both parties are willing to make time for this.

Learn: Remove yourself from the narrative, that is, “You did this to me”, which makes it possible for the other person to open up instead of coming from a place of defensiveness or shame. There is no doubt that my colleagues know the impact of this behavior because I open my heart. I think if I open it, “You are really rude to me”, the conversation will go in a completely different direction.

At the end…

In either case, it is obvious that curiosity, admitting mistakes, and not judging reactions or reactions are the keys to dealing with difficult relationships. I am grateful that each scene also leads to a robust and open dialogue, and I appreciate this approach. But I am curious reader, how do you have a difficult conversation? What have you learned? Make a sound in the comments below!

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