How to have " that " conversation that you have been avoiding for a long time but know tha
It's a new year. And it gives you another reason to reduce or eliminate toleration's in your life.
Sometimes we tolerate because we don't know how to fix boundaries that clearly let the people in our lives know how we would like to be treated.
Sometimes we tolerate because we have a limiting belief that stating how we would like to be treated would hurt the ones who we love or upset the ones we are accountable to like our bosses.
And sometimes we tolerate because deep down we don't necessarily believe we deserve any better.
Whatever the reasons might be I invite you to start preparing yourself to have that very important conversation with the person/s who need to be informed about what you are fine with and what is not acceptable to you, even if the person you need to have the conversation with is the one who loves you the most or you love the most.
Alright, so the first part is preparing for the conversation.
Simply put this is the most important part of the conversation, the preparation.
Here is how you can prepare so that you put your best version forward when you have this conversation
Be very clear with the Intention of why you want to have this conversation. In most circumstances your intention might be that you want to have a healthier relationship with that person or because you have been feeling a drain on your energy dealing with that person or because in some way your personal boundaries of space, autonomy, respect, justice or love have been breached.
Once you have gained clarity on why you want to have this conversation, you need to imagine, feel, visualize the details of that conversation going the way you want it to in-line with your intention. It is while doing this process your fear, doubt, guilt or hesitation will come up. As you get more and more comfortable imagining a outcome where all ends well, it will help you to release all that resistance ( fear, guilt, doubt)
Make notes. Whenever I have had such a conversation I write in points what I want to say. I do this because I am emotional and do not want whatever comes up in the conversation in myself, the other person or persons to derail me from letting them know my message. I don't recommend you read it, but use it more like a guide or as a reminder about what you want to say. You can even let the other person know why you have made these notes and how it can help you stay focused on your message.
Affirm to yourself often before and during the conversation -That you are doing this because you value yourself and value the relationship with the other person.
Some tips to help you have an effective conversation in such circumstances
State at the beginning that you care/love/ appreciate the person who you are having this conversation with. Be genuine and only state what you do appreciate and love about them. If you are in a situation where you can't see what you like about them then skip this step. In my experience if you have reached this stage where you are having a conversation to let them know how you would like to be treated then I will assume that them being a part of your life is not negotiable. In that case it is helpful to have some positive aspects in mind about that person/s.
Then share how their behavior, words or treatment towards you affects you. You need to tell them how their behavior makes you feel. Specify in exact words how they impact you.
It's important not to get sucked in to the drama that might or might not ensue. That is usually the other person's fight or flight response. They will either retaliate or walk out as its a survival mechanism that triggers within them when faced with a confrontation. It's normal and its not about you and your message needs to said.
Remind yourself that it requires courage to stand up for yourself, your beliefs and your relationships. And that by speaking up you are being courageous and considerate to the very people who might not be happy listening to your message. As in doing so you are also liberating them from being the recipient of any future resentment that might pile up in you if you were not to have this important conversation.
If you have done your pre-work well, you will feel light and liberated as you share your message. And no matter what the response, you will remain focused on the conversation and the intention of having it.
Make sure you also let them know that if they do not change their behavior towards you then the consequences will mean that your relationship with them will get impacted.
Post conversation work
Right after this conversation, take it easy. Relax. Breathe. Take it easy on yourself and them. Give them space to work out their feelings and thoughts around what you have shared. Remember no matter what their response is, they still need time to process what you have told them.
After you have had the conversation it is important that you stay aligned to what you want which is a better, healthy, respectful relationship. You stay aligned by believing that things will get better, by looking for evidence that things are getting better and by affirming that the other person is responding well.
In the event, after some time has passed by and you see them repeating their past behavior , you can have another conversation with them to remind them of the agreed terms.
Overall, you are doing this for the health of your relationship with yourself and with the other person/s in question. So be firm but graceful.
Wishing you all the best and waiting for you to share with me your experiences.