How To Fix Conversations Gone Bad

Conversations can take bad turns and, when they do, it is easy to become defensive. It is very tempting to respond aggressively or to turn away any questions or discussion that might cause embarrassment or make you appear to be ineffective. But, when you fight or flee, you rupture the conversation.

When a conversation is broken, it can be fixed. To repair the break, consider doing the following:

  1. acknowledge the problem
  2. facilitate the other person’s expression of feelings,
  3. together examine the break
  4. accept responsibility for your part (whatever that is),

The conversation destroyer is to be non-responsive, dogmatic, or ignore the other person’s point of view.  When you rigidly adhere to your own perspective, you diminish the other person’s experience. You don’t have to agree with the other person, but it helps enormously to understand their point of view.

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