Why Uncomfortable Conversations are Good

Jordan Brown

It's something that never seems to get easier--having uncomfortable conversations.

Yet, they are so important.

They clean the air.

They bring life back into relationships--a good kind of life, not the stale air kind of life that has been surrounding them.

But why are these conversations so hard?

And what can you do to make them easier?

Overview: Uncomfortable Conversations

Uncomfortable conversations are difficult because they involve opening up wounds, both your own and those of the other person, or people.

Wounds can be anything. They can be past trauma. They can be old relationships. They can simply be a memory of a once-forgotten place. If something is blocking a healthy relationship from taking hold, it might mean you have to have an uncomfortable conversation.

I've had to do this many times in my life--in my work life, in my personal life, within my family. And you know what? I still get anxiety before each one. I still feel like the world is going to crumble beneath my feet.

Uncomfortable conversations make you question your sanity. They make you wonder if you're really thinking about the situation correctly. And that, surprisingly, is a good thing. We go through life thinking we know pretty much everything, but our view is just one perspective. We are seeing only one tiny part of the world through a minuscule filter.

Uncomfortable conversations expand our view.

What to Remember

When it comes to having uncomfortable conversations, this is what you should consider.

If you're feeling uncomfortable, the other person most likely is too. This is actually a pretty good rule for most relationships. Most people don't openly talk about how they're feeling. They don't walk into a room and say, "Hey, you know what? I'm feeling both anxious and sad right now. Who wants to process this with me?"

That just doesn't happen.

So you need heuristics; you need little tricks to pick up on what's going on. An uncomfortable conversation is the result of a long-term emotional breakdown between two or more people.

You also need to remember that the point of an uncomfortable conversation is not to crush the other person with your wit and rationale. It's just not. The point is more about the process than it is about what's being said. When you enter an uncomfortable conversation, you're opening yourself up. You're showing that you can be vulnerable. You're taking the first step. Just the process of entering a potential battlefield demonstrates courage.

You're alive in this world, which means you have many uncomfortable conversations ahead of you.

I hope this served as a nice primer for what they're all about.

Don't be alarmed if you feel the need to have one of these conversations.

Your emotions are not the entire story. They are sign posts on the road to a deeper understanding between you and all the people you meet.