#023: Pay attention to how you feel in difficult conversations.

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?
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