While difficult conversations sometimes HAVE to happen…
what about having them before things get to breaking point.
When you think about it – when you are angry and fed up – it’s unlikely that you are in the best place for a productive discussion.
In the same way – an unexpected onslaught can be bet with defensiveness.
So while we have been arming the Human Upgrade Sisterhood with strategies for when things get tricky – let’s get our big girls pants on for a pre-emptive strike.
While everything is all nice and not shouty.
Set the scene:
Maybe send the kids (if you own any) to bed.
Have a nice bubble bath.
Make yourselves look fancy.
Something posh to eat.
Candles and stuff.
Glasses of wine/beer/general booze imbibing is somewhat of a roulette… on your own head be it.
Personally, I wouldn’t – but then I am a total lightweight.
Brave Conversation 1
n.b – Claire and I take no responsibility for any thrown pots, pans, or unplanned pregnancies.
Some of us need to be left alone when we feel a bit down, to get on with processing things; others want to be scooped up and looked after – we may or may not want to talk it through… or to have suggestions on how to fix things.
Thinking back to the last time you felt sad, what did you need? Did you get it? Is there anything else you wish had happened.
Once you have an idea of that – you could ask the question:
#1 When I feel sad, I prefer you to comfort/help me by doing this __________________________
How do you want me to be when you feel sad?
When you first meet someone – it’s easy to marvel in their awesomeness.
To celebrate and notice the good stuff. But as time goes on, it’s easy to take it for granted a bit, to forget to thank them for those things that you loved in the beginning – and to shift to focus onto other things you wish they could change.
Let’s use question 2 to redress the balance a bit.
#2. Something I really appreciate and admire about you is _____________________.
What do you most appreciate / admire about me?
Of course, it isn’t always about them.
It could be that we are not enjoying our job, that our social life is dull (or non-existent) or that we have unfulfilled desires – and feel the clock is ticking too fast.
When we are feeling unfulfilled in other areas of our lives – that dissatisfaction can leak into entirely unconnected conversations. It might even be issues around your lifestyle or how much time you are spending on things you don’t like – anything really that is regularly niggling.
question 3 needs a little pre-thinking work…
#3. What part of your life would you change so you felt more fulfilled_____________________?
and then… Here’s what I would ideally change_______
Let bygones be bygones.
Let sleeping dogs lie.
Don’t rake up the past…
Well that’s one way to play it.
This is a tricky one that you may need to take a deep breath before heading into.
You know that thing that gets brought up?
The thing that you quietly seethe about.
When you’re feeling suspicious or cross… it’s the other thing that comes to mind.
It might be something that happened years ago that feels only partially dealt with.
Let’s put it to bed, for good.
We often carry around hurt that was unintentional, or even just thoughtless.
When it’s recognised and acknowledged – it can make it feel a lot easier to let go of.
Newsflash – they probably have one of those too.
Don’t forget – if you ask the question you have to be ready to take the answer on the chin as well.
So we’ll let them go first.
#4. What is something I did, that hurt your feelings? Can I tell you something that hurt mine?
(and if you need tips on apologising – have a read …here)
Slightly with a slightly different vibe to the admiration question, let’s talk gratitude.
It’s easy to forget what people do for us, then the things they aren’t doing is winding us up.
What springs to mind first, are the obvious ones;
gifts, support, help etc..
but other things like: being a great example, being honest – even when it’s difficult subject matter,
or even showing tough love – might be in the mix.
Maybe even that time that they told your mother to behave.
There is no limit to the number, size, or unexpectedness of these.
#5. What are you grateful to your partner? (and what are they grateful to you for?)
So we dealt with the bigger stuff… but what about the teeny tiny things?
Things that aren’t necessarily ‘wrong’ but just get on your wick. If we know these things about each other – then we can choose not to do them (or explain WHY we do them).
Truth is – in our bid to be nice we tend not to mention them – but in a safe space, we may be able to clear up little annoyances that the other might be unaware of.
Often these little gripes have a perfectly legitimate or even irrational-seeming reason from your past, that your partner isn’t privy to – so it’s a good opportunity to explore that a bit – if you want to, of course.
#6. (you go first) Here are some of your little quirks that annoy me a bit _________________________
Now you get to tell me mine.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
If that IS the case, it might be worth having a think about before it comes to that.
Sad as it might be, can you fully imagine living life without your partner. Think through the details and with that in mind…
#7. What would you miss about your partner if they weren’t here anymore? What would they miss about you?
If you decide to have a Brave Conversation, good luck and let us know how it goes.
W&G Human Upgrade membership doesn’t open again until the end of July 2020…
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Be the first to hear by registering HERE