Your stomach is tight. You may even get a headache or find it really hard to breathe.
You start distracting yourself by cleaning, checking email or doing a million other “important” things to avoid having the inevitable “talk” with someone that has been a long time coming. Your mind races with thoughts like:
What if they hate me?
What if I shoot myself in the foot and say the wrong thing?
What if I’m just being ridiculous and unreasonable?
Not to worry, goddess. I’ve got you covered.
4 steps to have a difficult conversation with your boyfriend (or friend!)
Step 1: Set your space and be real.
“Hey, (insert their name). I really appreciate you for listening right now/taking a few minutes to hear me out. I have always admired (insert genuine compliment here or say nothing!)
Optional: “This is uncomfortable for me to share with you but I need to say this.”
Step 2: Lay out what you want without emotion
“I want (to end our relationship, a divorce, a raise, to change directions in this project, to reconsider my initial offer, to feel heard in this relationship, etc….”)
Step 3. Spell out your feelings (no one can argue with them!) AND any actions that you will be taking as a result
“This doesn’t feel right anymore and I need to honor that. Because of that, I/we will be _____________
“In order for this to feel right, I need to see the following things happen: _____________(state anything they can do to make it right)___________ .
Example: “This doesn’t feel right anymore and I need to honor that. Because of that, I will (moving on, moving out, etc.).
Step 4: Appreciate them again and Choose your ending
*Do you want to hear them out and continue the discussion? If so, choose this:
“I appreciate you listening to me and I’d love to give you space now to share anything you’ve been wanting to say to me. I’m all ears.” (Then you REALLY have to listen and do your best to avoid interrupting or getting defensive. Follow through.)
*Do you just want to wrap up the conversation and end the discussion gracefully? If so, choose this:
“I am sharing this with you because I respect you and am just doing what feels true for me. (appreciate them and set the boundary).
I understand you may have more questions but I’ve shared what feels right for me in this situation and am unwilling to continue discussing it at this time. (set your parameters. notice the word “unwilling” has a different vibration than “I can’t” or “I don’t want to”. It’s more powerful!) I’m choosing to move on and again, thank you for listening. That means a lot to me.”
(notice the end with a genuine compliment or nothing at all and follow through on what you say! They may try to test you and continue the conversation and in that case, just keep going back to “I’m unwilling to continue discussing this at this time…” or walk away if need be.) You never have to over explain or defend your choice.
Congratulations! You did it!
What to do after having a difficult conversation
It’s always nice to have something special planned for yourself after having any uncomfortable “talk.” It does not need to be expensive or fancy or even anything that requires money. You can go for a walk to your favorite park, schedule some time to do paint your nails or just browse at your favorite bookstore that you never got a chance to go in because you were worried about this conversation! Self-care is so important at the end of the “talk.”
1. What is 1 suggestion you have that helps you prepare for a difficult conversation?
2. Post a comment here and let’s connect!
ps: Do you want to let go of your ex?