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December 11, 2019

Daring Greatly – Tough Conversations Filled with Love, Belonging, and Empathy

My feelings aren’t more important than your feelings, thoughts, and experiences.

Your feelings, thoughts, and experiences aren’t more important than mine.

The goal of the discussion should be coming to a middle ground and understanding. Using empathy and conversation to uncover what went wrong to make sure the next experience is more positive, more aligned with our values and goals. To foster connection and togetherness.

Boundaries and self-worth are muscles and skills that get stronger with each use.

I have noticed *most* of the hard, uncomfortable conversations that I have are filled with consciousness, empathy, and rationale. I am communicating my feelings, my experiences, and reasoning without tearing you apart or making you feel less than.

Toxic behavior is saying something, but then saying you didn’t say that, and getting mad at me for holding you accountable. Toxic behavior is telling me that my feelings do not matter. That I am being dramatic and over-the-top for pausing the heated discussion to let you know how your words and actions are affecting me, how they are hurting my heart. Toxic behavior is criticizing me for doing the work and taking the action; while you are just telling me all the ways I am doing it wrong and what I should be doing.

The Daring Greatly quote is now what I anchor into. I am not interested in your feedback if you are not in the arena with me. The cheap seats are easy and convenient. They do not require awareness or growth or accountability. Shame and blame are the name of the game up there. I am in the arena, getting my ass kicked. I care about your constructive criticism and your solutions; but I am not interested in hearing about all the mistakes I am making and how I am doing it wrong when you’re in the cheap seats.

I am proud of myself and the way that I articulated my feelings and boundaries. And that I held strong. I stayed in soul and love. It wasn’t comfortable or easy, but it is not my responsibility anymore to take on fallacies to make life more comfortable for you.

I also do not have the emotional hangover. The ones I would get when I would scream, cry, and get really angry at the conversation and you. Where I would resort to low-blows and name-calling to defeat you. Now, I am peaceful, calm, and okay with the way the conversation went. I demonstrated respect and love. We didn’t come to a middle ground and you left angry, but I feel better knowing that I didn’t tear you apart.

I learned that self-care after a heated encounter is vital to growth. It calms the parasympathetic system and restores the energy lost during the interaction. I just watched a hilarious video on Facebook. I am journaling. My bounce back time is less and I am gentler with myself. I listened to my body. She said to laugh. Now she’s saying yoga, so off to find my mat.

Hard conversations are great for growth. Unclear is unkind — clear is kind. Dare greatly in the arena and please join me down here, the experience is more beautiful.

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Crystal Royer  |  Contribution: 3,720