How to Handle Crucial Conversations

It’s a part of life…

crucial conversations.

A crucial conversation with a person you care about is vital in continuing the relationship.

What is a crucial conversation?

I would say it’s when there is something vital or important you want to talk about with your loved one {This is not an official definition.}  There’s something bothering you, an issue of something that has been done or said and it is tugging on your emotions.  When this happens, it is important to act on those emotions by creating a safe atmosphere to converse with the person about what is bothering you.  When I say safe atmosphere, we are not referring to safe as in no knives, etc. {although it should be implied weapons would not be involved.}  Instead, we are talking about being safe with the words we use.  This means we have to step back and truly think and evaluate what it is that is bothering us.  I find it is helpful to write down on a piece of paper what specifically is causing the problem.  This can be done in list format or journaling, whatever is most comfortable to you.

How to approach a crucial conversation:

1. Start with intent – This means begin the conversation with the person by sharing your intentions.  For example, your intention is to show respect and not damage the relationship.  So say this first.

2. State the facts, not feelings.

If you start to see defensiveness:

  • Step back…step out of the content or facts.
  • Rebuild safety by expressing intent again.

I share this with you, not because I’m the expert at this {not at all}, but because I need help in this area.  I thought my readers might appreciate this information as well.  I’ve engaged in some crucial conversations lately {some I still need to have} and they don’t always end up going well.  And when I say well, I mean both sides end up walking away feeling better about the situation.  I think having healthy crucial conversations is pretty much an ongoing process in life.  It takes practice to get better at it and boy does life give us lots of opportunities to practice this!  I know first hand that avoiding communicating about something that’s bothering you is not a healthy approach.  Avoidance only festers feelings and makes things worse for everyone involved and the people around you.  I definitely know this by experience!

This information about crucial conversations was from an episode of Living Essentials titled Communication In Social And Emotional Relationships.  I highly recommend you watching or listening to this if you are interested in becoming better at communicating in a healthy manner when the stakes are high with someone you love.  {I was not paid to write this.}  The professionals speaking in the episode give many real life examples and stories to how it will relate to your life.  I’ve listened to it several times already.  Here it is:

Healthy Communication Brings Joy,


  1. ange says:

    Great post! I hate having crucial aka difficult conversarions but need to get better at this as well. Thanks shan for encouraging us!
    ange recently posted..Youngest Daughter’s Bedroom Inspriation

  2. Hi Shan! I gave you a Liebster Award on my blog! I’m not sure how many followers you have, so I just gave you the award anyway because I really like your blog. :) Happy weekend!
    Jordan G @ The Happy Homebodies recently posted..Liebster Love

  3. Such great advice. Thanks for sharing this.
    Anna@DirectionsNotIncluded recently posted..Gratitude – Words to live by

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