It all came to me as I was journaling a few days ago. I sat on my bed, a few hours prior bedtime, and as I reflected about things I was proud of and how my future self interacts with others; I wrote “she knows the main conversations start with herself 1st”. I, then wrote in the margin, that’s a good article idea and closed my journal, lol.
I believe we ALL been there — wanting to say specific things to people yet unable to come up with the words or on the contrary, we came up with the wrong words and what could have been a very civil conversation turned out to be quite catastrophic.
It leads me to believe if we are not able to talk to ourselves with HONESTY and SINCERITY then we ain’t able or should I say, we shouldn’t talk to anyone else until we can do that with ourselves first.
In this article, I will not cover the should and shouldn’t, but I will address THREE areas I consider important when it comes down to have important conversations with others. It all starts with ourselves first — when we give ourselves the GREEN LIGHT and start our own dialogue, everything else becomes a little bit easier.
The starting point
An easy way to get yourself going is to close your eyes. I know, it sounds cheesy and whatnot, but it is what it is. When our eyes our closed, we can absorb everything around us better. We can concentrate and analyze deeper. And because the conversations you have with yourself are important, you may want to position yourself the best way you can.
When your eyes are closed, you can almost immediately feel your heart rate and breathing slow down. Both physiological responses allow you to focus on the task at hand. Let’s say, you want to talk with your spouse, or maybe its your boss, or even a longtime friend; whoever it is, you feel the need to say what’s in your mind and heart, but you know if you don’t slow down first, who knows where that eventual conversation is going to go. So you start asking yourself, if you were them, what would you like to talk about or how would you like to address this specific situation?
These types of questions are part of your starting point approach because they put you in context. Most people don’t like to arrive somewhere unprepared. Whether they ask about the location or who will be in attendance beforehand or ask about any dress code specifics or what they have to bring, people like to be in the know and when they’re not, things can get ugly fairly rapidly.
Then WHY would you put yourself through such turmoil if it can be avoided?
Close your eyes and start your questioning, lol.
You came up with questions you felt were important to ask or address, awesome. Now, time to test out your theory and approach.
Find someone you TRUST (that is extremely important and I’m unable to emphasize that enough). You want that person to be a honest and truthful person because you’re about to test out some of your personal thoughts with them. You can imagine if who you find is not trustworthy or if it is someone who just gossips all day about everything and everyone — you know troubles await you if you confine in them.
When you find the right person, let them know what you are doing. Don’t be afraid nor ashamed. Basically, you’re about to role play the conversation you’re going to have. Which means, it may sound funny, look weird, be uncomfortable, and so forth. In truth, it does not really matter how it looks or sounds, what matters is that you get your feet wet as they say. Get yourself into your role. Even if you’re role playing, you’re still discussing. There’re still going to be feelings and thoughts involved and you’ll still going to analyze the whole thing.
Take your role playing seriously. It is NO JOKE. You’re getting yourself ready for a big conversation, so you want to be poised, calm, and intentional. No need to rush things or make a huge scene.
Remember, this is only practice. Soon, you’ll be where you’re supposed to be.
The time has come for your conversation. You talked to yourself and your rehearsed. You did not overdo it, but you did not relax either. You don’t know how it is going to go and that is ok. You may have plenty of scenarios in your mind but only what’s about to happen will happen.
You’re not able to control everything, but you can control the words you want to say. You can control your tone of voice and attitude. You can control your breathing. You actually can control way more than what you originally thought. The goal is for you to say what you have in mind with as best tact as possible.
You’re ready. Take a few breaths before starting and let the words come out. Imagine your conversation as if you were a professional conversation specialist. You’ve been doing this for years. You know how to position yourself verbally but also physically. You know which gestures to do. You are just fully equipped and know you’ll be having the best conversation ever.
Remember, you may not be able to control what the other person is going to say or do, but you can always control yourself.
I want to end with this, it can sometimes be intimidating to converse with ourselves. But at the same time, it is often the best way to put ourselves in good standing — with ourselves.
I don’t know if I always thought as such, but I believe talking is an art, an expertise that some people are just better at than others. Still, it does not mean people are not able to improve or even get to a higher level with their communication skills.
Ask yourself — how many times what you wanted to say did not come out like you had intended to or how many times did you overreact while talking with someone just because you did not take the opportunity to review a few basics in your mind first. Trust, I’ve been there myself, many times actually, lol. But I am a student of life and each of my conversations get better because I choose to talk with myself first.
Which means, you too you can improve your conversational abilities.
Go ahead…close your eyes…find that trusted friend…and initiate the best conversation you ever had.