I've been thinking about why confrontation gets such a bad wrap and the importance of having hard conversations. Especially when those conversations are the difference between moving forward or falling apart. Failing to confront certain topics or pretending something does not bother you is a recipe in disaster. When things go un-said, needs are not met, situations don't get resolved, hurt, and confusion often lingers. So I want to use this Sunday post to talk about 3 reasons you need to have hard conversations. Let's jump in.
You owe it to yourself to get what you need - One reason I believe we avoid hard conversations is because we don't always feel we need to speak up for ourselves, or we think that somehow saying that something is bothering us is inappropriate. Yes, disclosing your discomfort might make someone else uncomfortable. But that does not invalidate how you feel. Your experience is valid, and if it's a negative experience, voicing it is appropriate. Speaking up if you need help, a new perspective, or help identifying a solution is necessary, and you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed about doing so.
Maybe you got it wrong - Misunderstandings have ruined many relationships and opportunities. People perceive a situation to be one way, and because they never ask questions or try to understand, what they've worked so hard to build can be destroyed with a false perception. Not making emotional decisions or giving emotional responses in the middle of a disagreement could be the difference between saying sorry and saying something you can never take back. Get all the facts and make sure you are clear before raising your sword.
The other person had no idea - Sometimes people just don't know. I've seen family or friendships dry up for no reason at all. I've also seen one person hold onto something that the other party was totally unaware of. Relationships work both ways, whether personal or professional. People should be allowed to address any accountability you ascribe to them. It's not fair to hold someone hostage to your innermost thoughts or feelings. Sharing your experience with them creates an opportunity for dialogue and, perhaps, an apology. And for so many, an apology comes with both healing and freedom.
Having hard conversations is necessary but there is a way to do it so that it's effective and not damaging. This post highlights the necessity, but doesn't offer a technique or approach. I opted to motivate you to take the step. Recognize that you can do hard things and this is one that you should consider. If your relationships are worth the effort and you believe in the value, take the time to understand the breakdown and work to find a solution. You will never know if you misunderstood them, if they were unaware about your needs or if you both just misunderstood each others intentions. Get to the bottom of it and do it with care and consideration. You and the relationship deserve that.
These are absolutely my thoughts...