Editorial Team

Lily’s guide to awkward conversations

By Lily.

God knows I couldn’t be silent all day! Which is good, because talking can help you deal with most of life’s tricky situations.

Some conversations, however, will always be awkward to have. Just because they’re awkward though, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them. It’s good to get some things out in the open, otherwise they can just end up becoming too big to deal with by yourself. You’re going to have lots of these awkward conversations over your lifetime, so best to start practicing now!

So check out my top three tips for starting (and surviving!) a tricky conversation:

1. Prep
There’s no point blurting out everything you have to say at once. Just because you’ve been thinking about this for a while, doesn’t mean the other person has! I always take a minute to sort out my ideas first, and plan what I’m going to say. That way, I’m not too flustered and sound cool and controlled (I hope!).

2. Find the right time and make a start
Tricky conversations are always best face-to-face. First, tell the other person you want to speak with them alone and try to find somewhere where you won’t be overheard. Take a deep breath and take your time. Tell them that this is difficult for you to say, but you think it’s important and you’d like them to ‘hear you out’. Ask them what they think. Be prepared that they might not agree with you!

3. Follow up
You never know how these things will go! Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out quite as planned. They may or may not be happy to hear what you had to say. If they don’t want to talk or they just don’t like what you’ve said – that’s ok. Either way, tell them that you care about them and you’ll follow up with them again once they’ve had time to consider what you’ve said.

Perhaps the second time around it won’t be as awkward!

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