In the month which is synonymous with “Love,” there are so many different ways we can be in love with another person, with ourselves, and with our friends and family. We can also be in love with our work and our hobbies too. When you are in love, the world seems happier, brighter and nothing really bothers you; but when you’re angry or you’re upset, the world can seem painful and very lonely.

I have found love and anger to be intertwined with one another. It’s a strange balance — much like ying and yang — where one can’t exist without the other If we didn’t love fiercely, we wouldn’t have an attachment to something or someone, what we would have is indifference. When we experience anger, it’s because we have a stake in something, we care about what is happening to us, or a spouse, child or a business, a close friend or the world at large. The key is to not stay in anger, but use it to move us forward; to see it as an opportunity to look closely at something which bothers us enough to get mad in the first place.

None of us are immune to anger, upset or frustration. And as a communication coach, I know there will be times I will struggle with these emotions and will need to eventually share with someone why I am upset or angry. So what I do when I find myself upset and I know a difficult conversation is on the horizon? I take a step back and do some self-evaluation about what really has me angry. When you find yourself in a similar situation, I encourage you to do the same thing.

Questions you can ask yourself:

  • What about this upsets me?
  • Is it the tone or the phrases they are using?
  • Is it a problem we have over and over and over again, which never got completely resolved?
  • What do I really want?
  • Is it them, or is it me?

Once you have answered some of these questions, you will start to get a clearer picture of why you’re upset and figure out how you want to tackle this difficult conversation.

The more honest and fact-based information you can share with the other person, the better the conversation is going to go. This is why it’s imperative for you to do the pre-work so that you take the emotion out of it. When you go at somebody with guns blazing, it usually doesn’t go well and all you’re doing is putting them on the defensive. Neither of you will ever get what you need resolved.

Taking the first step in having a difficult conversation with anyone is always difficult but the more you practice the “pre-work”, the more you think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Take the emotion out, and a more talk to is going to occuring with you and the other person. You both now have the opportunity to speak your minds and work towards getting your needs met.

It takes two to have a conversation, otherwise it’s a monologue, Remember, there is a human on the other side of this talk and it’s love that brought you to this moment.

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