1. Using "I" Statements Having a direct conversation with someone about a negative situation can cause people to feel defensive. The conversation starts off well but ends up pointing the finger. It turns into an argument with a lot of tears, avoidance, or blaming. The best way to start and end a conversation is to use "I Statements." Instead of saying, "You did _____ and you made me feel ______." Say, "I felt _____ when you ________." Do you see the difference? Instead of pointing the finger, you are expressing how you felt. It takes the defensive pressure off the other person.
2. Be okay with the outcome We tend to go into the situation hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Sometimes we have already foretold the future and think we know how the conversation is going to go. Being okay with the outcome, no matter what it is, allows us to relieve the anxiety. It is okay if it does not go well. Whatever the outcome , you will move on. Life will continue.
3. No one is perfect When a negative issue occurs, we try to look at the situation after the fact, finding ways to blame the other person. "What he should have said was ________." The truth is no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all say the wrong things. Recognizing this before having a follow up conversation creates an environment were the blame game subsides. Instead of saying, "What he should have said was ________," say, "What I should have said was _____." It won't hurt to say this exact sentence to that person when you speak to him next.
Forgiveness is hard. We all hear that we should forgive and forget. Well, sometimes it is not that simple. Remember to use "I Statements," be okay with the outcome, and no one is perfect. It makes the whole situation less anxiety producing and will hopefully make the conversation just a little easier.