Starting a Difficult Conversation

Have you been putting off having a difficult conversation? Have you tried to start a conversation, only to have it go off the rails? Conversations can be hard when the relationship matters. Many people tend to avoid tough talks because they fear negative outcomes. This can be especially so if your loved one hasn’t noticed or acknowledged changes they are going through.  You don’t have to cover all aspects of current and future care in one sitting.  Understand that this is just a place to begin.

The key to any productive conversation is being clear about your objectives and managing emotions.  You can prepare for a difficult conversation by clarifying your intentions and not making assumptions about the possible outcomes and reactions.

Although this information can apply to a number of situations, the article, We Have To Talk: A Step-by-Step Checklist For Difficult Conversations, can help you stay focused and shape what you need to say and how you need to say it.

Caregiver Tips

If you want to be in this for the long haul then you, your loved one, and other family members need to work together to maintain everyone’s relationship and quality of life. 

An honest and open discussion is the best way to know what things need to be put in place to keep everyone happy, safe, and feeling respected. Even though these conversations are difficult, once you start having them the easier they will be, especially when things change again. 

This booklet, The 50/50 Rule: Helping Siblings Overcome Conflict While Caring for Aging Parents, may help you with family relationships at this stressful and frightening time. 

This article may be helpful as well – Do You Resent Your Siblings For Not Helping You Care Give?

Did you know that most caregivers subconsciously develop the habit of holding their breath or rarely breathing deeply?  This short video may help you better understand what happens to your body when you are not fully accessing your breath.  Although the instructor is talking about dementia caregiving, this principle applies to ALL caregivers.  Related comments begin at the 5:50 mark. 

To access your full breath, try this 5-minute exercise.  If you are going to start a new habit, this is a good one!