Difficult conversations are inevitable. Whether we’re ending a relationship, saying no to a request or demand, or expressing something that didn’t sit well with us at work, the discomfort factor is real!  So how do we have these conversations and not chew our nails off after we hit send (or blow up on the spot)?

The motivation to either avoid or respond and get it over with can feel really intense. So here’s what I’ve learned to do: When the pleaser mentality response comes up, I don’t push off the conversation. Then when the hardass persona screams “I don’t need you in my life”  and tries to push their way through, I put that reaction on pause as well.

It’s only once the response start coming from the heart, that we can comfortably pull the trigger on hitting send or picking up the phone.

Waiting out our go-to reactions allows us to feel calm both after we hit send and throughout the days that follow because we are at peace with what we said, no matter how the other person handles it.

When we stand in our truth we stand in our integrity. Here are the steps if you’d like to test out the method:

  1. Wait it out. Go through the defensive response, the pleaser response, the push it under the rug response, but don’t give in. Wait for the mud puddle to settle and the water to provide a clear reflection.
  2. Try out some versions. Talk it through with a close friend or practitioner. Get vulnerable on how your insecurities may be factoring in and really listen to the feedback. Then let the pieces that felt like truth settle in.
  3. Pause until you feel a “yes that feels right.” Let yourself breathe, like a fine red wine releasing its pent up vapers. And then, only then, write it out. Then, keep reworking it until your heart says yes and your gut agrees.

Later that night, you’ll know you’ve done it because you won’t pensively wait by the phone and have that anxious, unfinished feeling. It will feel complete in that moment and their response becomes less significant when you gently, compassionately, and authentically spoke your truth.