Being Real: How to Have Tough Conversations About Health

One of the hardest things about “adulting” is tackling tough conversations with our loved ones. 

From broaching difficult mental health topics to asking your parents about moving to an assisted living facility, and even discussing mortality with your loved one that’s dealing with insidious diseases like cancer. All of those fall under the umbrella of sensitive topics that can blow up in your face if you don’t treat them with the respect that should be given to live ammunition. 

If you’re worried about how to start a tough conversation, you’re right to be. However, you’ve come to the right place to figure out how to do it with grace.

Keep on reading for our full breakdown on how to have tough conversations, and well as the right timing and techniques that you should be aware of. 

Handling Tough Conversations 101: Be Calm

These topics will not go well for either you or your loved one if you’re approaching the conversation with hotheads. Both parties need to be in the right headspace for a hard conversation. 

The right headspace is one where calmness and steadiness reign supreme. 

If you’re not in the right place, you can simply wait until tempers have cooled down.  

Keep in Mind Your End Goal

Before thinking about the time and place, you’ll want to have your reason for holding the conversation in the first place rather clear to you. 

It’s essential to have a good handle on how you feel about this topic, and why you want to hold this conversation with that specific person at that specific time. You must be brutally honest with yourself regarding your wanted resolutions out of this conversation. 

For instance, if you’re dealing with a critically-ill loved one and you want to talk about them creating a will (or updating an existing one), then you’ll have to be aware of any family politics that might add layers to your intentions. 

Furthermore, you might have an ideal outcome in mind when it comes to these types of conversations. Yet, you’ll need to recognize that you might not be able to force anyone into seeing things the way you do or have them commit to the changes you want to happen. 

Know Your Topic and Know It Well

This is not the time to google facts while you’re in the middle of the conversation. If the topic you want to discuss is controversial in nature, you’ll want to thoroughly educate yourself on the subject. 

Moreover, you’ll want to take a look at a different perspective, specifically the one opposing yours. This way you can at least approach the topic with empathy and understand where the other person is coming from. 

Broaching Difficult Topics Like Mature Adults

We know that it’s not going to be easy.

That’s why we hope our tips on how to have tough conversations with the people you care for have pointed you in the right direction.

Yet, if you still feel a bit shaky on the basics of formulating a kind conversation about health, don’t worry. Simply check out our relationships section, as well as our health section for the latest on these two fields.