When bringing up a concern or difficult topic, pay attention to how you feel throughout – when you think about bringing it up, during the conversation and after the conversation. Especially if what you are bringing up is a concern about something they did or said, or something that you think may hit a nerve.
How do you feel as you think about bringing it up? Of course, there may be some anxiety; it’s a difficult topic and it’s a new relationship. But are you feeling afraid to bring it up? Are you afraid of their response?
Afterwards, reflect on how you felt during the conversation.
- Did they respect your concern? “I definitely understand why you are concerned about that.”
- Did they dismiss your concern? “Why are you bringing that up? It’s nothing.”
- Did they belittle you for bringing it up? “How dare you go to my personal space.”
- Did they accept your perspective? “Oh, I didn’t see it that way. Thanks for bringing it up.”
- Did they answer truthfully and fully? Did they try to skirt the issue?
Lastly, reflect about how you feel after the conversation.
- Do you feel respected?
- Did that conversation bring you a bit closer or drive a wedge?