I finished reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. I’m not a self-helpy, life lessons book kind of girl. However, this book kept showing up across my social media feeds. Let me just say the book All. The. Things. One of the chapters that stood out the most for me was Chapter 11, “Yes to No, Yes to Difficult Conversations”.
Many times, over the years, when I needed to have a difficult conversation with someone I avoided it like the plague. I’d agonize over it in my head or vent about the situation to a friend. In other words I drive myself and anyone who will listen, crazy! The conversation would never happen and the relationship would just dissolve into thin air as if they never existed. Unresolved feelings still unresolved.
A few days after finishing the book, I had to have a difficult conversation with someone close to me. I knew the situation needed to be addressed, but I didn’t want to hurt the person and honestly, I didn’t want to be hurt either. In the meantime, I was in a pissy mood with any and everyone because as I avoided the issue, it festered inside me and pissed me off even more. The cycle of crazy!
Finally, I put on my big girl pants, said “Yes” to the difficult conversation, went to the person and started talking. Once I opened my mouth, my thoughts just poured out of me. I was getting the feedback and discussion I needed from the person I needed it from. When it was over, we both felt lighter. We were honest and open and it was great. Several days of stress, anxiety and resentment that had been building in me vanished in the span of 30 minutes.
I’m certain every difficult conversation won’t have a happy ending, but I have to be prepared to deal with whatever the outcomes may be and move on.
Do you avoid the difficult conversations? Has having a difficult conversation cost you a relationship?