Whether it’s talking to a family member about how you feel, telling your GP that your medication isn’t right or even just telling someone that you’re not interested in what they’re suggesting often involves a ‘ difficult ‘ conversation.

How do you get the confidence to say how you feel, so you get the outcome you really want?

Here are our suggestions.

Plan what you want to say in advance

Think of the words that you want to use. How you can explain what you need and also think about  talking clearly.  Consider what the other person might say in response and also how you can answer.

Consider having support

It could be that you can have a friend or partner with you, for support. There’s nothing wrong with this, as long as your support partner allows you to lead the conversation. If not, the person you’re trying to chat to, could feel out-numbered.

Timing is important

Just because you need to discuss something right now, doesn’t mean it’s the right time for the other person. Avoid stressful times in the day such as before work, school run time or straight after work. If it’s a medical professional that you are talking to, then you will only have a limited amount of time to get your point across. Be clear and concise.

Get straight to the point

When you’re discussing a problem or an uncomfortable situation, it’s tempting to try and “ soften” everything, although that often ends in waffling! You want the other person to be clear what you’re trying to say. It’s best to be as direct as possible. Stick to the facts

Prepare how you will respond if it doesn’t go your way

If the person doesn’t understand what you’re trying to say or they just won’t agree to what you need, you will have to deal with that. It’s not easy. Try and keep your emotions in check and let them say their piece. Listen and then respond as calmly as possible.


Be open to alternatives

It might be that the other person has a more suitable idea to solve the issue. Be open and listen. Don’t discount what they’re saying because they don’t 100% agree with you.

Every difficult conversation should ideally end with an agreement and a solution. If it’s just too challenging and emotional, then agree another time to talk it all through more thoroughly.