Say the Hard Things

Nicole Beaudin

When you’re upset, hurt, or processing big emotions, how do you communicate, if you communicate at all?

As a highly-sensitive person, I can feel what’s left unsaid. It’s almost as if I can see the energy ripple between people. Ironic, most of my life my people-pleaser persona won. I often chose to remain silent rather than rock the boat. In my defense, I was also raised by narcissistic serial avoiders, I wasn’t exactly taught the skills of healthy communication. But yes, it is teachable. 

Whenever we silence ourselves and our needs we tell ourselves that we’re not worthy, that our voice doesn’t matter. 

This doesn’t mean flying off the handle or being crass with our words. This doesn’t mean placing blame and throwing metaphorical darts and arrows. It also doesn’t mean only using words that placate. 

What it means is sharing how you feel and how the persons’ actions impacted you while leading with curiosity about their behaviors and asking why. 

This is applicable in every area of life. The only place it isn’t really applicable is with certain types of narcissists, which I will not dive into today. 

Magic happens when we share vulnerable parts of ourselves in a safe relationship. 

So what does this actually look like? Here’s a fictional example:

Energies are heightened at the office. Business has been struggling and deadlines are approaching fast.

A co-worker that you could always depend on keeps showing up late and not pulling their weight. Your frustration is visible and you’re judging their choices and making assumptions. You also just wish they’d communicate. Something is up with them. 

You think it will just blow over but you are growing incredibly frustrated. 

You journal, asking the following questions of yourself: why does this bother me? What happened that they changed so much? How do I feel?

You can’t depend on them or trust them anymore. You’re worried about them. 

You set up a meeting because your respect for them is greater than your fear. You decide to lead with empathy.

“Do you have a moment to discuss something? I’ve noticed you’re not as present in the office or able to do all the crazy work they’re throwing at us, is everything ok with you?”

You learn they’re going through something hard with their health. You’re heartbroken for them. 

“I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I wish you would’ve shared with me earlier, as I would’ve loved to support you more, instead resentment has been rising and I have to confess I have been angry with you.”

Your relationship strengthens from here on out. 

Where are you holding back? Is it time to have the courageous conversation? I’d love to help. 

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