Conversations can be difficult at times. We label them as difficult because they may entail confrontation and maybe result in a negative reaction from the people involved, or bring up uncomfortable emotions. As a result, in order to avoid confrontation, we often avoid having them altogether. In many circumstances, though, avoiding these discussions does more harm in the long term than initiating them. You may be limiting your future happiness and success if you avoid having these difficult conversations – and you may also be depriving the other person of the potential they deserve. There may be a small window of time to undertake this discussion before the opportunity passes you by. As a result, it is critical to stop postponing uncomfortable conversations and start having them now.
Here are some of the conversations that many people avoid having, but that need to be had right now.
#1 Making funeral and plans for after death with a loved one
If you have sick or elderly loved ones, you may need to talk to them about what they want to do with their estate and how they want to be remembered when they die. Do they have a will? Who will be the executor of the estate? Have they purchased life insurance or set aside monies for a funeral? What sort of caskets would they like to be buried or cremated in?
These are all critical questions that must be addressed if you are to carry out their desires and minimize the financial impact of their death on those left behind. It will be too late to ask these questions once your loved one has passed away. Surprisingly, only 1% of us know all of a loved one’s ultimate preferences, according to a survey on funerals.
Many of us avoid having this talk because death is frightening and it never feels imminent. There is also the worry that bringing up the subject of inheritance would upset someone.
#2 Asking for a pay rise or a promotion from your boss
Even though we know we deserve it, many of us put off asking our boss for a raise or a promotion. According to some studies, requesting a raise or promotion is more difficult than having a personal chat.
It is often down to a lack of support — while we can seek counsel from friends and family before initiating difficult personal conversations, there is often no one to turn to for help when it comes to challenging employment related conversations.
In the sense that you are telling your boss what you want, such interactions also involve a role reversal. Of course, if you don’t have this conversation, you can miss out on extra money or the opportunity to advance in your profession. When it comes to asking for a promotion, there may only be a short window of opportunity before the position is filled by someone else, so stop hesitating and go for it now.
#3 Coming clean about something
It can be difficult to come clean about major secrets and lies. There are occasions when it is preferable to lie. It is better to disclose the truth if the deception has prompted you to make promises you can’t keep or if there is a chance it will come out anyhow. Furthermore, carrying the weight of a major lie or secret can be draining. Whether it’s debt, infidelity, a workplace blunder, or a misdemeanor, you might find that confessing to it provides you greater long-term satisfaction than keeping it hidden.
#4 Taking the next step in a relationship
Many stages of a relationship necessitate a tough conversation. Perhaps you woud like to start a family and want to know what the other person thinks. Maybe you want to take the plunge and live together? Maybe you’ve been dating for a while and want to make it official? Maybe you are not even in a relationship yet and you are trying to figure out how to ask them out on their first date. In some circumstances, there may be a problem in your relationship that has to be addressed.
In any event, such discussions may be necessary for taking the next step. Your partner may be waiting for you to take the next step, or they may be hesitant to do so. In either case, you must be aware; otherwise, your relationship may stagnate, resulting in sheer frustration and even boredom, which in turn can cause bigger issues than the one at hand.
#5 Ending a relationship
It is something no one particularly likes to do but it is often necessary – and incredibly difficult. It is much simpler when the feelings are reciprocal; you might discover that they have been putting off ending the relationship as well and so actually, it is not a big issue.
If you’ve been together for a long time, the inconvenience of breaking up could be keeping both of you from making the decision — you may own housing together, have children together, or have pets together.
You must decide whether stability is more important than your long term happiness in these situations – usually, it isn’t. The most difficult breakups are those where one partner is still deeply in love with the other. Choosing not to break up with them may mean losing your own happiness, while breaking up with them may feel like you are robbing them of their wellbeing.
Splitting up with them may be the best thing you can do for them. The relationship is a deception if the sentiments are not reciprocated – they deserve to be with someone that feels the same way about them.
These conversations are never easy, no matter how necessary they are or how often you go through them in your head. Meet somewhere neutral and comfortable, maintain eye contact, and be ready for the reactions. It is almost always better to have the conversation than to leave them festering and unsaid.