Tips to have difficult conversations when you are scared of conflict

Tips to have difficult conversations when you are scared of conflict

  18 Dec 2023

There are times when we are afraid of getting into a misunderstanding, argument or a conflict. This can happen due to multiple reasons. Be it childhood trauma or the fear of abandonment, often we shy away from having difficult conversations because of the fear of rejection and chaos. “Navigating difficult conversations can be daunting, especially if you’re someone who naturally shies away from conflict. Before diving in, take time to understand your feelings and the key points you want to address. This preparation can help keep the conversation focused and less overwhelming,” wrote Therapist Klara Kernig.

Tips to have difficult conversations when you are scared of conflict(Unsplash)

The expert further added, “Start the conversation by establishing mutual respect and shared goals. This sets a collaborative tone rather than a confrontational one. Remember to keep your cool. Approaching the conversation with calmness can help in de-escalating potential conflict. Having difficult conversations is an essential skill in both personal and professional life.”

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Start with empathy: one of the primary things is do is being empathetic. Knowing and understanding the emotions of the other person before jumping into the conversation is important.

Intentions: We should communicate the intentions of the conversation – finding a solution or just sharing the way we feel about the situation.

Choose time and place: Finding the right time and place where the people are in the right mindset to have the conversation is important.

Open-ended questions: Instead of restricting the conversation to the way we feel, we should ask open-ended questions to understand the perspective of the other person.

Listen actively: Being a good listener helps us to understand the other person better. We should listen to understand, and not just to respond. This further helps the other person to feel valued and respected.

Compromise: In order to find common ground, a little bit of compromise may be needed. We should be willing to do the same.

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