8 Ways To Make The Toughest Conversations Much Easier

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how to make difficult conversations easier

Time to tell the truth.

Whether the topic sex, secrets, money, or something else, it’s still important to have those difficult conversations, especially if you find yourself mulling things over and over and become tense about a conversation you haven't even had yet!

You’ve put it off long enough, mostly because you don’t know how to start, and you’re afraid it will end in a blowup or worse.

There’s plenty of advice from friends, family, coworkers, and media telling you what to do and what not to do when it comes to communication.

Before you plunge in and start talking, perhaps take some time to prepare yourself with poise.

Here are 8 things you can do to help your “talk” go smoother with less friction in your relationship


1. Remember that timing is EVERYTHING.


The key is to find a time when you’re both rested, focused and attentive to one another

In other words, plan it so he’s not just walking in the door after a 10 hour day and a 2-hour commute. Best to talk when you have a sitter for the kids, you’re alone at home, and you’re focused on each other.


2. Be aware of your own mood.

If you’re angry, scared, distracted, or confused, you will send mixed signals only adding to his confusion.

Take a breath, compose yourself and think about how much you love or have loved this man.

Be kind, be a supportive friend and couch your message in love! Be gentle but clear.


3. Keep on eye on your body language.


What you say through your body language, your body position, and your facial expressions is immediately picked up subconsciously by your spouse (or anyone else you’re speaking to).

Pay attention to your posture, your arms, and your facial expression!

Ninety-three (93%) of your communication emanates from your body language. That’s huge! That’s why he’s already picking up your attitude before you even speak!


4. Be honest.

Visualize the scenario as if it was your spouse speaking to you. See him speaking to you truthfully with kindness.

You deserve to hear the truth, right? Absolutely! Well, he does too.

The more you delay and avoid the big elephant in the middle of the room, the more awkward and uncomfortable it becomes because you act one way in front of him while feeling differently inside yourself.

It’s time to share your truth.


5. Keep in mind that practice does make perfect.


Talk to the bathroom mirror and say it out loud, practice in the car on the way to work, or rehearse in the car after dropping off the kids.

Don’t think about it silently or mumble it. Listen to yourself speak!

The more you say it audibly, the more you’ll desensitize yourself from the shock of delivering the message. Do this, and you’ll avoid bursting into tears midstream when you actually do talk to him!

6.  Stay in the NOW!

What does that mean? It means use language that reflects what you're feeling and thinking now, not too far in the past and not so far in the future.

When you start the conversation, keep it to current and recent experiences, not from two years ago.


“I really want to go back to school to get my graduate degree. I want to let you know how important it is to me, and I also wanted to figure out how that will impact us financially and logistically. Can we talk this through together? What do you think?”


“The past few weeks and months it seems like you aren’t happy. How are you doing? Are you happy? I haven’t been happy for a while and I wanted to check in with you to see what you think about us. I really want to talk to you to figure things out. Are you willing to move forward in our relationship?”


7. Find a time to talk that you both agree will work. 


You can make an appointment to talk if it's hard to naturally find a moment alone.

An example: “It’s really hard for me to say this to you, but I need to talk to you about something important because it affects both of us. Can we talk now? Or, when is a good time for you that we can both sit down and talk?”

8. Tell your partner everything.

The past only builds walls between you.

It’s true that at times you do need to discuss the past hurts and misunderstandings. However, before you go ‘there’ you need to have multiple successful discussions that end without a huge blowup.

When you can master some discussions without big blowups, you will gain confidence and be able to handle the more delicate or difficult conversations that have been festering for a while. 

These smaller successes will help you build confidence and trust for yourself —  and for each other!

When that happens, you can find the right time and the right space to talk such as: when the kids are out of the house; when you aren’t tired late at night; when you haven’t been drinking.

You can have that meaningful positive discussion about what has been bothering you without blame and hurt.

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Margot Brown has helped couples and individuals create happier lives for over 20 years. She’s the author of Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On or Move Out. You can find it on Amazon and in local bookstores near you.