Does the following sound familiar?
Me, in an argument: *blabbers* *presents one average point*
Me, reflecting in the shower on how I could have answered: *eloquent presentation with multiple points all backed by peer reviewed articles*
It does to me, big time.
While some people are just gifted arguers, I am certainly not one of them. My mind goes to a complete blank and I start saying things that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
The logical and rational part of my brain (the executive part) is nowhere to be found, and the psycho-emotional brain is controlling the show.
Again – sound familiar?
So if you’re like me – that is – *getting better but still horrible* at having hard conversations, here’s a few things to make the difficult… a little less difficult.
1. Write down notes and BRING these notes along with you. While you may feel childish and silly, it actually shows that you care about the conversation. Pre-empt the conversation by saying “this is important to me, and I want to stay on track and ensure I don’t say anything I don’t mean”.
2. Sleep on it. While seemingly simple, the old rule of waiting 24 hours before you start a sassy conversation works. It allows emotions to mellow and rational thinking to ramp up.
3. Take a step back. Have you looked at the situation from the other person’s angle? What is going on for them? What are they thinking or feeling? Always, always ALWAYS look at things from different angles.
4. Finally, remember that conversations are about understanding, not about winning. If you begin to feel frustrated, say it. “I’m feeling frustrated and don’t want to say anything I don’t mean”. Take a break, even a long break, and come back after things cool off.
Written with love,
Dr Katherine xoxoxo