Drop The Fight & Discover More Love: How I prepared for a very challenging conversation
What if I told you the same old fights could have an entirely different outcome?
When you’re feeling attacked, it’s easy to get defensive.
But going head to head usually doesn’t gain headway, just a couple of hurt heads.
The most successful conversations I’ve had with coworkers, family members, employees and clients have been when I dropped the fight.
A few months back I was preparing for a challenging conversation. One of those where I felt judged and attacked by this person from an email they sent and I knew I couldn’t just brush it off as no big deal.
Now, this is someone I cannot just avoid and for my own self worth I wanted to speak my truth and respond to their harsh words.
So I prepared. And it looked like this:
First I was PISSED.
I had so much anger. But I knew that attacking them wouldn’t get me anywhere.
I let myself feel my anger. I felt it until the charge was gone.
Then I was sad.
I wanted to tell them how hurt I felt, but honestly, this person doesn’t do well with feelings. Me feeling sad would still feel like an attack and it wouldn’t end well. I’d been down this road before.
I let myself feel my sadness. I took good care and let myself cry until the weight lifted.
Next I wanted to defend myself.
At the very least I would protect and stand up for myself. Yet, even this felt too charged with emotion and would only fuel this person’s initial judgment towards me.
I took a deep breath and searched for peace. I searched for what would bring clarity and freedom.
The only way I know how to find freedom is through forgiveness so I put some of my favorite forgiveness tools in motion and practiced releasing this person and their actions towards me.
It helped. A lot. I felt lighter and more capable.
But I still didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t make things worse.
And then... LIGHT BULB.
What if I wasn’t angry or sad or defensive - what if I was curious? Where would that get me?
So I dropped my judgment and my “agenda” and went into the conversation wondering why.
Why did you judge me? Where did this idea come from? What are you feeling underneath this judgment?
Behind every judgment is a wound.
If we can open our eyes to the wound then we can work to heal the wound. If the wound is healed then the judgment will no longer exist.
I approached the conversation from a space of childlike wonder - knowing that the feelings I have toward this person are complex; knowing that there is NOTHING for me to defend because I am secure in myself and what I do in the world; and knowing that this person’s judgment is just that, theirs.
If you didn’t already guess, the conversation went incredibly well.
My curiosity caught them completely off guard and turned it into a light-filled interaction where I did share my feelings, but without judgment or defensiveness or raw emotion. I was cool, calm and collected and the conversation mirrored that feeling.
This person that I usually butt heads with and feel hurt by was just another complex human in the room. I was not attached to their words, I did not take their actions personally, and from this space we had a conversation filled with love and understanding.
Interested in having more conversations like this in your life?
I’m sharing practical tools and tips to turn challenging conversations into opportunities for growth, connection and a whole lot more love in my new FREE webinar: