What does it take to have a hard conversation?

Today I listened to some co-workers share some real, honest and emotional concerns, struggles and worries.  The experience was powerful.  That phrase is overused and I know I sound like some social justice warrior millennial weirdo.  I promise to stop.

Some of them talked about issues and I really identified with how hard it probably was to share the things they shared.  It isn’t hard to share that you’re thinking about being the fat guy in the room, or that you think people see you as weak because you had a C-section or that you have any other of a thousand issues that you feel make you stand out or feel uncomfortable. I didn’t see these people that way, but they sure saw themselves that way.  I sure could identify with thinking about being the fat guy in the room, but honestly I didn’t have the courage to say it.  I admired how courageous they were to share some stuff that wasn’t easy for them.

These things need to be talked about.  How can we create a place where we can all share things that we’re not really comfortable sharing?

I spent some time thinking about what you need to have in place before you can have a real, honest and open conversation.  I listened to people share things that made them worried or feel alienated.  I think it all comes down to trust, understanding and respect.

Only when you think someone will accept you unconditionally for who you are do we draw back the curtain and show our real self a little at a time.  We have to be convinced that our friends will stay friends.  When you trust them, and they respect you, understanding is the product of a real conversation. Simple recipe, difficult to find the ingredients.

The internet and social media isn’t a place where we have these conversations because there is no trust, respect or understanding.  People don’t see each other as people but as the other side of the coin.   The enemy.  The problem.  We don’t see and don’t know that the guy who we call names is really a man in Vermont who works two jobs to feed his kids because his wife committed suicide.  We forget they are people with real life stories and experiences.

Maybe I wasn’t so far off when I said we need sensible controls on speech (or not…because limiting freedom of any kind is only guaranteed to hurt people and fail miserably…it was satire, people).

I’m sure glad I’m not on social media.  It’s nice to have a real conversation once in awhile.

I can’t post anything lately without getting political, so here you go.

There isn’t much to say about Hillary because we have had decades to learn everything we need to know.  Nothing new can be said.  Here’s a completely authentic real human reaction to a scripted balloon drop.  Not forced at all for the cameras.


We don’t know as much as we should about The Donald since he’s really only been a political figure for a short time and the media sucks at covering him.  Here’s a video to watch with a critical eye if you are a Trump supporter and an open mind if you are a Trump hater.



3 thoughts on “What does it take to have a hard conversation?

  1. Thanks for that post. Really good. Makes me think of more ways we can encourage this dialogue in our classrooms. If we’re really going to listen to each other, we have to respect each other first. I also agree there is very little respect on social media, which is why those “discussions” are rarely beneficial to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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