How to Have Hard Conversations

We are in a time where many people are speaking up and speaking out.

It is beautiful to hear new voices, young voices and bipoc voices emerging from our communities.

In the past few months we have seen a clash between ideas and ideologies that is reminiscent of the 1960’s.

Heartspace was created with the intention to have mindful, heart-centred communication to bring people together to connect in new ways that restores the community and each individual and reminds us of our humanity.

Below is an excerpt that I wrote for a blog, titled How to Have Hard Conversations.

  1. First feel your emotions. Your emotions have wisdom for you, if you take the time to pause and listen to them. They may even inform you in someway or lead you to a new understanding.
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2. Think about the root of the issue. What was it specifically that made you mad, sad, disregarded etc. Once you are able to discover the root of the emotion, it may start to neutralize the emotion.

3. Think of what you want to say to your friend or family member. In this step, put yourself in that person’s shoes to think deeply about what it will feel like to receive your words. Do this until you take the emotion out of it.

4. Then, be willing to have the conversation. Make an appointment in your calendar sooner than later so that you can speak to the person, you are in conflict with, before you let the issue/hurt/concern grow.

5. Next, speak to the friend or family member in person, call them or facetime them. Having these types of conversations in person is recommended because it is respectful and it reduces the chance of misunderstanding.

Do not text or email your friend or family member because it can be seen as disrespectful depending on the relationship, specifically if you are close. Texts and email can be misunderstood.

In person conversations allow you or your friend/ family member to ask questions for clarification that can be handled in person. If you wait too long to clarify information or address the issue you in the first place, you or your friend may start to create a story around what was not clarified or the initial hurt/pain point.

I once had a friend that was mad at me and I had no idea. She let months pass until she addressed it. When she finally addressed it, her message was drowned out by her emotion. And the time she choose to address it was also inappropriate.

6. Root your message from a place of truth and love. When you speak from that place, it shifts the conversation because you speak in a way that others are more willing to hear and are better able to receive.

I am speaking from experience with this point. I was a poor communicator as a child. I spent years in silence and I did not know how to express myself. I spent my later childhood, teenage years and early adulthood working on my communication style.”

This wisdom emerged after years working on my communication. It took time to learn how to speak up for myself, speak up for others and speak clearly in times of disagreement.

Communication is a skill that can be developed if you work on it.

Be kind to yourself as you grow your communication style.

Heartspace is here to help you develop/ nurture your voice.

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