6 Tips On How To Successfully Communicate Your Feelings Without Becoming Overwhelmed
You know the feeling – you need to have “the talk” with your partner, or you want to ask for a raise at work and you need to have a meeting to discuss the situation. When hard conversations are on the horizon, it’s totally normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and panicky. You know you need to be cool as a cucumber, but you’re feeling like you’re going off the rails – so is there any hope?
Why do I have a hard time communicating my feelings? For many of us, this comes down to emotion – you’re feeling anxious, sad, or upset, which makes it way harder to express yourself.
But you can definitely nail that work meeting or speak to your partner calmly, so don’t worry! It’s all about knowing how to handle things.
Here’s how to successfully communicate your feelings, even when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s an essential skill for developing healthy relationships in all walks of life!
1. It’s all about timing
How can I communicate without being emotional? One top tip is to plan your conversions when you’re feeling calm and collected, to avoid putting yourself in a situation you’re not prepared for.
Plan a time to have hard conversations so that you have a chance to prepare.
For example, perhaps your partner constantly comes home late and you’re feeling angry that you’re not getting enough quality time together. Trying to discuss this at midnight when they get home probably isn’t the best strategy. Instead, give some thought to what you want to communicate and bring it up the next day.
It never hurts to plan a time in advance, so that both parties can have time to prepare for the conversation.
2. Work out what triggers you to feel overwhelmed
When you’re feeling like the world is caving in around you before a big conversation, it helps to work out why. Are you nervous about public speaking? Do you think your partner will be upset with you? Or maybe your anxiety is just racing because there’s a lot riding on this talk. All of these feelings are completely normal!
So, how do you communicate when you are overwhelmed? The first step is to work out what’s making you feel that way. By identifying your emotions and their triggers, it’s easier to balance yourself out and communicate more effectively.
3. Plan out what you want to say
Help, how do I get better at communicating my feelings?! Like anything, it all comes down to practice and planning. Spend some time thinking about the main points you want to make in your conversation – jotting down notes is allowed!
Just as if you were planning a presentation for work, you can plan out your arguments and talking points so that you know exactly what you want to say.
4. Stay cool
When the time is quickly approaching, you might be feeling nervous or worried – sweaty palms, racing thoughts, and feelings of doubt. Yep, we’ve all been there. Try your best to stay calm, though – imagine a positive outcome, take deep breaths, and even consider a bit of meditation beforehand, so that you’re feeling more relaxed as you walk into that boardroom.
Once you get started, try to speak slowly and calmly, stating your points clearly. If you lose your train of thought, it’s okay to tell the other person you just need a minute to pull yourself together. Not a bad idea to bring some water with you too, in case your throat gets dry.
5. Listen like you mean it
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to assume the worst and interpret someone else’s words in the wrong way. But when you’re having hard conversations, it’s super important to actively listen – meaning you’re really taking on board what the other person is saying.
After you’ve spoken and it’s the other person’s turn, pay close attention to what they’re saying and ask for clarification if you’re unsure about something. Just give them time to finish their thoughts first, so you’re not speaking over them.
Active listening also makes the other person feel like they’re being valued and heard, so it’s a great life skill for any situation.
6. Give yourself time to decompress
That’s it, the hard conversation is done! Mad props to you – you tackled something difficult, and that’s something to be proud of. However, the work still isn’t finished! After any difficult convo, it helps to take some time to decompress. By this we mean think about how it went – what went well and what didn’t? Is there anything you would have done differently?
Also, think about the topic of the conversation. Is it the outcome you wanted? Do you have any follow-up questions for the other person? Try sitting down with a cup of tea and a journal – allocating some time after the conversation to take notes, think, and unwind is always going to be great for your mental health.
On the topic of mental health: if you’re feeling crazy overwhelmed or upset on the regular, this can become consuming of all aspects of your life. There are lots of ways to cope with this – exercise, journaling, talking to loved ones – but therapy is also a great option for some. There are plenty of therapists who can help you manage your feelings in a way that will be better for your wellbeing, so don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about this.
We hope these tips can help the badass RBL gals of the world take control and manage hard conversations with ease! Oh, and if you need some inspiration, why not think about your fave politician or role model? How would they handle adversity and challenge?
Just go easy on yourself, as all of the skills above can take some time to develop. But with practice, you’ll find it easier and easier to stay calm, state your points, and handle challenging situations. You got this!