How to Have Difficult Conversations About Your Wedding
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Planning a wedding is an exciting time—but it’s also sure to bring up lots of emotions for everyone. Whether you are making decisions with your spouse-to-be, or struggling with family members not getting along with your future in-laws, you may be wondering how you successfully address your concerns without ruffling too many feathers.
We break down a few ways you can hope to communicate effectively to help you sail smoothly to the altar.
1. Look past the vertigo
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Oftentimes, we may find ourselves in a conflict over a simple issue. What should have been a calm discussion about a financial concern or a choice you and your partner need to make, suddenly seems to spiral into a huge, emotional argument.
This experience is termed by Daniel Shapiro, author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable, vertigo—where “you get so emotionally consumed in a conflict that you can’t see beyond it”.
Shapiro recommends recognising these forces that shape and control the direction of your argument. Being aware of vertigo is the first step to avoiding conflict when trying to solve a problem.
2. Don’t Avoid Emotion
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When we think about having difficult conversations, it may appear counterintuitive to pay attention to our emotions. However, while approaching a situation purely rationally or logically seems like the best option, it is likely not enough.
This is because emotional issues may need to be solved just as much as rational ones. Acknowledging emotional rifts, be it you or your partner’s feelings in the situation may clear the way forward to quickly solve other problems.
3. Have a Plan
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Before starting a difficult conversation, try playing out the scenario in your head.
How do they react? What should you say or avoid? Why would they think that way?
Of course, real life rarely plays out like a simulation in your mind, but asking yourself these questions might help you guide yourself along a conversation. It allows you to be strategic, while also empathising and trying to understand the other person’s point of view.
Planning a wedding may require you to have a few difficult conversations, but the journey is sure to be worth it!