We Need to Talk
We need to talk. Those four simple but powerful words can often send surges of fear, uncertainty, apprehension, and confusion into the heart and mind of most people. If you utter those words to your spouse, friend, child, co-worker, or employee you may see their body language shift to a defensive stance. Why are these words so powerful? Why are we afraid to talk? Do we believe that it is better for issues to remain hidden?
We all have struggled with this dilemma. Whether we are the recipient of the talk or the initiator. I believe it is essential to any healthy relationship to be able to have open and honest communication. Communication is the key. Effective communication involves a healthy dialogue between individuals in an effort to arrive at an acceptable level of mutual respect and understanding. In order for this communication to occur transparency regarding feelings is needed. In other words we must address the elephant in the room before he takes up all the space and prevents us from moving forward (try to get a visual image of that). My personal belief is that what is hidden can never be healed. So, what should we do next when we need to talk?
- Be specific about your goals. For instance, if you hope to address the issue of careless spending with your spouse let that be the focus of the conversation. This particular conversation is not the time to bring up your frustration over the dirty socks he or she (usually he) leaves on the floor. If we stick to the topic the desired result or solution is more likely to occur.
- Face your fear when addressing difficult subjects. Anxiety is often the result of fear of the unknown. We often create scenarios regarding what may happen that are not always based in reality. When we face our fear we often find the thing we feared the most did not happen. Also you never know if the person you need to talk with may have the same feelings but needed assistance bringing the issue to the surface.
- Do not be disappointed if all is not resolved. In a perfect world everyone will be in agreement and no one will be offended during a difficult conversation. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. If the conversation ends with disagreement and hard feelings it is ok. It may take some time for individuals to reach an understanding. The important part is to say what needs to be said in a respectful and compassionate manner. There are times when we must agree to disagree and remain respectful of one another’s position.
Ultimately the goal in having the talk is to foster open and honest communication. It can be difficult but I believe it is necessary to avoid larger problems in the future.
Author Alicia Lurry