Some conversations leave us feeling empowered whereas others leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths.
There have been some instances after a long hard day that I have dropped into my big oversized chair and wondered what really happened. How did things get so array? Was it two stubborn people clamouring to be seen, heard, and understood?
Self reflection and self awareness are paramount in recovering from a failed conversation. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What role did I play in the conversation?
- What is the impact does this conversation have on our relationship?
- Were we discussing something really important?
- Did I make my intentions known?
It takes a huge amount of courage to own our issues, to share our perceptions, and to apologize for our part in how things went. Often people do not realize the impact of their words. I know people who have carried words said by someone over 40 years ago. One of the biggest challenges is to recognize that what someone says about you is none or your business and nor should you take it personally. It is one person’s opinion. Remember 1 in 7 billion people – so who are you giving your power to. You can only do what is within your power and you do not have to change for anyone else.
Avoidance of the situation or person involved does not solve the issue. You may have heard the phrase, “Do not burn any bridges.” What it basically means is you are better to mend a relationship, keep the connection than to damage it, and let it fester into more than it should be. Also note the world is a small place – you never know who knows who you know. Each person needs to own their own part. Seldom, is it just one person’s mistake. After all, communication is a two way conversation!
It is never too late unless a person has passed on to rectify a situation and to clarify what you really meant to say. Even then you can say it aloud to let it out versus keep it inside of you. There is no room for blaming, complaining, or cursing to say what you wanted to say. They say time heals and you may not forget how you felt but you can forgive yourself and the other person for being human and learning from the experience.
Failed conversations carry an emotional charge to them which tends to make people take comments personally. And yes, the beginning of your conversation it may get a bit awkward but as you speak intentionally – you can turn and failed conversation into one which the other person champions you!