5 Tips for Difficult Conversations You Want to Avoid (Episode 82)
How do you navigate those conversations you don’t want to have with the people you may not choose to be around except for those “special” occasions? We’re discussing boundaries today, and getting back to what is most important for you, and what you actually can control. We all know those toxic relationships that rear their ugly heads, and, guess what. You actually have the power to steer the ship.
In this episode, We'll share tips on how to steer the conversation away from the battlefield.
What is your "why" for the holidays?
Maybe it has to do with your religion, and celebrating Hanukkah or Jesus’s birth. Or it may have to do with spending quality time with loved ones who may not be around another year. Maybe it’s about service and giving back to others, or simply being present with your own nuclear family.
Why are you actually celebrating? What is the purpose behind all of it? Are you keeping that in mind, or simply keeping up with the Jones's?
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Where are we this week?
Hanging in Sarasota, Florida at the beautiful state parks! We love Myakka River State park for the peaceful setting surrounded by spoonbills, cranes, gators and more, and we're loving the daily bike rides and hikes.
Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!
What Emotions Do You Want To Feel?
What is your intention with your interaction with others? What do you want it to feel like? Do we actually walk into a setting with a goal as to what feeling and energy you want to emit?
The holidays are not the time to “save” everybody and break open those difficult conversations. If your goal is on enjoying the holidays, don’t immediately jump to a battleground.
How are you being true to who you are? “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” (Jim Rohn) If you are surrounded by complainers and victims full of doom and gloom, this can be hard to shake off.
5 Tips for Steering the Conversation with Difficult People
How do you steer the conversation when you are surrounded by button-pushers, drama queens, incessant talkers, and negative nancys? How do you maintain your cool and not just react?
Here are some helpful tips:
- Instead of being interesting, be interested: flip the conversation over to them, and focus in on them. Turn the question back to them and ask them what they are up to.
- Kids are a great neutralizer - sometimes shifting the focus to the kids can help as well.
- Have a script - prepare a response. If you are vegan, unschooling, an entrepreneur, etc…if you know you are doing something that is different than the “norm” in your family, know ahead of time how you can respond without defensiveness, etc?
- Admit your fears and hesitations. Ask them what they did in your situation. Sometimes a gentle reminder that you are half their age or new to this phase is helpful. It’s okay that you don’t have it all figured out - and they may recognize it more when they think back to when they were that age.
- Take the controversial big picture topic and shift it to one “safe” story - like telling a story about something cool your kids learned this week vs. whether unschooling is right or wrong.
It Is What It Is
It’s okay to not all sing “Kumbaya” together. You have one high expectation, and it’s this:
You are going to deliver your best self
Take personal responsibility. Handle yourself with grace, love and respect. Don’t weigh your happiness on the holidays on someone else you have no control over. Take ownership of what you can do. Set boundaries. Draw the line for how far you are willing to go. When you look back on this, will you be proud of how you carried yourself in that situation?
Don't weigh your happiness for the holidays on
someone else you have no control over.
See them as Children
We’re all kids at different ages. Maybe that person who you feel just “doesn’t get it” is simply a version of who you used to be. We are all on different journeys, and we learn at our own individual pages. Just because it’s personal to you, doesn’t mean they are at the same place. Respect their journey and where they are without the agenda of getting them to the same perspective you are at.
Your Weekly Challenge:
Curate some conversations. Come up with some key questions and “safe” topics that you can bring up at holiday events, Christmas parties and more. Be prepared to shift the dynamics to positivity, love, respect and grace.
The more we recognize those personality styles and those strengths and what triggers us, the more we can come back to how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.