DON’T LET CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR MOM (OR DAD) TAKE A WRONG TURN

DON’T LET CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR MOM (OR DAD) TAKE A WRONG TURN

It’s easy to lose your way when you’re talking about emotional things—things that you are passionate about, or things that are embarrassing or frustrating or confusing. If you feel yourself getting upset during a conversation, here are some tips to use to prevent the conversation from hitting a road block:

  • Breeeeathe. If you feel yourself getting upset, try taking a slow, deep, stress-busting breath. And another.

  • If you feel yourself getting annoyed, say as calmly as you can, “I’m starting to feel upset, but I really want to work this out.”

  • If you need a break, ask, “Can we talk about something else for a minute?” or “Can we talk again later, after I’ve had a chance to think about this some more?” Then get back to it when you feel ready.

  • If your mom offers advice that doesn’t apply to your life, give her another chance. She probably just needs more information from you to understand your question. Try to clarify with, “Actually, Mom, what I’m wondering is . . . “ or “Let me tell you a little more about . . .” (P.S. This applies to conversations with your dad, too.)

  • “I’m sorry I said that” are words that can work like magic to get a conversation back on track.

  • Picture how you’d like your parent to talk to you—the kinds of words, the tone of voice, the look on his/her face. Or picture someone else who seems to keep their cool in a way that feels right to you. Then try to talk that way to your mom or dad...

Just remember, take one thing at a time. You don’t have to cover everything in one conversation. You’ll have many chances over many years to talk about all sorts of stuff.