3 Ways to Handle Difficult Conversations in a Relationship
Sometimes being in a relationship requires having a difficult conversation. Every counselor knows that ignoring or avoiding difficult issues in a relationship can actually be more detrimental to a relationship than an argument may be. However, figuring out exactly how to have these kinds of conversations can be problematic. Here are 3 things you can do to make those difficult conversations successful.
Be direct and State the Facts - When having a difficult conversation it is important to focus on what matters most. Be direct and stick to the facts by focusing on exactly what happened and why it created a problem. Usually when the focus of the conversation is on the facts, the other party is less likely to feel attacked and will react better. Hopefully, by being direct and sticking to the facts, you will be able to end the conversation on a good note.
Control Your Emotions - Often you must be prepared for difficult conversations to become emotional. Sometimes your partner has been anticipating the conversation and they handle things very well. But at other times, it can be completely unexpected, and an emotional outburst, whether from anger or sadness, can be common. Be sympathetic but don't forget or change your message simply because your loved one has become emotional. Your message is important and shouldn't be compromised because you are surprised or upset by their emotions. These unexpected emotions can be difficult to handle, but often you are as emotionally invested in the issues as your partner is. Therefore, it is paramount to the success of the conversation, and your relationship, that you control your emotions.
End with a Solution - Any challenging conversation should have a purpose. Usually when a difficult conversation is necessary, it is because something our partner is doing is causing problems or bothering us. Therefore, when having those difficult conversations, our goal ought to be finding a solution to the problem. When handled appropriately, your partner will understand that it's not a personal attack but that you are just honestly trying to find a solution. After understanding this, they are often as motivated to find a solution as you are.
Dealing with these difficult situations and conversations are never fun, but by remembering these 3 things we can ensure that our challenging conversations are less controversial and have better results.