PSYCHOTHERAPYHELP NEWS by Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D.
Conversational Partners: 2nd in a Series
"Let's Talk" ... how many times has a simple conversation gone awry, making you wonder what happened?! Take heart. Let's look at how to take control back of a conversation ...
THE CHOICE IS YOURS ...
In every conversational opportunity, you are faced with the choice of how and who you wish to conduct a productive and effective conversation. Making this choice is extremely important, for it will determine your ultimate emotional experience during and at the conclusion of the conversation.. I recommend that you do not have to feel obligated to conduct a conversation with a person that you deem unsuitable and unfit for a productive conversation. There are exceptions, especially in business and personal interactions. But, you must reserve the right to take control of the situation by responsibly choosing whether you wish to engage this other person as a conversational partner.
In may be reasonable to assume, that after an initial conversation, you will be left with the choice as to whether to have additional conversations. Effective conversations take place between people who are on the same wavelength. Every conversational partner has an agenda, whether announced or hidden. You and your conversational partner will try to impact and influence the behavior of one another.
Forceful conversationalists may convince you to accept their point of view and satisfy their hidden agenda and motives. You will know how you will feel after the conversation, how you did in that interaction. If you feel good, your needs were met. If the other person feels good, he or she will feel gratification.
If the conversations are tilted, power oriented or destructive, somebody's going to get hurt. Someone will have to make the decision whether they will engage in such future conversational partner interactions. Remember, you are not obligated outside of your guilt, to engage in any conversation with a partner or person that proves to be toxic to you or the other person. Toxic conversations are a fact and we will reserve that for a future section!
Nice Person Guilt
Just about everyone wants to see them self as a good person. Consequently, to refuse to converse with a particular person may make you feel guilty. After all, your ego wants to be experienced as a good person. However, here comes the "But!" You don't have to be a sucker. Being a target for someone else's negativity doesn't make you a good person in their eyes, especially if they dump on you the judgment and evaluation that you are truly, "Bad." Your guilt may come from your uneasy feelings of being a "rejector."
There are no perfect decisions for engaging conversational partners. But, you will have to do what is best for you. You can choose to not be a victim to someone else's verbal assaults.
In conclusion: Remember ... you have a choice of who will be your conversational partner!
If you don't know how to disengage from toxic conversations, Dr. Paul can teach you how!
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Warmest regards always,
Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFCC
PsychotherapyHELP - www.nvo.com/psych_help