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Avoiding a Difficult Conversation Because You’re Afraid of Their Answer?

Sometimes we avoid speaking up about what we really want with a person because we’re afraid we will “make waves” in the relationship.

So we ignore the conversation and silently suffer.

If this is you, this video is for you . . .

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I was recently speaking to a woman who said that she’d been seeing a guy for the better part of a year. The frustration she was having is that they only saw each other every couple of weeks, and, even then, he would cancel a lot to make plans in a different way. And she always felt like he was the one always canceling, she was the one always making the commitment to see him, and it was always on his terms. So she wanted more quality time with him.

Now, she was trying to get herself into the right mindset to have a conversation with this guy. So she came to me, but she was so anxious about having the conversation. And she said to me, “You know how it is, Matthew. Everything’s all good until you start making waves.”

I want everyone out there to notice the linguistic shuffle that happens there, where we take what are really our needs and turn them into making waves. Because when that woman says “making waves,” she’s really talking about her needs. Her need for some form of stability, her need to have some kind of regular connection and quality time with the man that she’s into and, dare I say, in love with.



What’s up, guys? Before I continue the video—and yes, I realize I’m interrupting my own video with this message—I just wanted to let you know that the early bird tickets to my final Virtual Retreat of this year are on sale now, but only until the end of the month. If you’re thinking of coming, now is the time because there’s a big discount and there’s a couple of extras that we don’t normally throw in with the ticket. So I’ll leave a link here. And now back to the video.


She subjugated her needs to the level of “making waves.” And this is something that I see people do a lot, especially when they’re afraid of losing someone—suddenly needs turn into inconveniences. Don’t ever let that happen to you on the important things in your life. If something’s a true need, if it’s fundamental to your happiness in a relationship, don’t let it turn into an inconvenience in your mind. That’s you buying into somebody else’s frame of reference.

The real question she should be asking herself is, “Do I want to be in a relationship where I have to subjugate my needs?”

So the big point I want to make to start in this video is, watch for that moment in yourself where you demote your needs to an inconvenience.

Now, how does she have this conversation? This conversation is giving her a ton of anxiety because she’s afraid of the answer she’s going to get. And the key with any conversation like this, like any great negotiation, is to make peace with the worst outcome before you even go in. Make sure that you know, yes, this conversation could precipitate the end of this relationship and I’m going to be okay with that.

If I don’t make peace with that, then I’m not really going in from a place of power. I’m going in from a place of acquiescing before I’ve even started, because I’m going in squinting, saying, “Hey, I really would like more time with you. I really would like more stability in our relationship. I really would like you to value the time we have together and not cancel it just because something else comes up. But if you want to stay the way you are, I’m not going anywhere.”

You have to go into a difficult conversation saying, “I’m prepared for the worst outcome here.” See, in the worst outcome interpretation of this, what she would really be thinking is, “This man is right for me.” But that’s the fantasy element, if he can’t meet her needs. That may prove to be true if he turns around to meet her in this conversation and they’re able to have a really productive conversation about how to meet each other more in a place that’s tenable, in a place that can make both of them happy, but if he’s not willing to do that, then this idea of him being the right person is a fantasy. She’s not losing the reality, she’s losing the fantasy.

So if you ever find yourself in a relationship with somebody where bringing up a fundamental need you have precipitated the end of that relationship, you may find yourself grieving the love you thought you lost, but instead, you should be relieved to have lost the reality you had, which was one of suffering, and anxiety, and constant acquiescence instead of the relationship you really want.

By the way, guys, before you go, there are two weeks left on the early bird special for the Virtual Retreat, which is coming up in September, the 24th to the 26th. This is the final Virtual Retreat of the year.

Why, by the way, do we fail to have the difficult conversation in our lives? It’s because we’re afraid. We’re afraid if we have them, we’ll lose something we can’t live without. And that’s because we’re afraid that our life, as it is right now, won’t be enough to go back to. It will, if we build it, and if we build our confidence to the strongest it’s ever been—we can lose anything in life and still be okay. More than okay: Happy. And if we know that we’re happy how we are, in who we are, with the confidence we have right now, we can say no to anything that’s wrong. We will never settle in our lives.

That’s what we do on the Virtual Retreat. It’s not about your love life. It’s about you and the you that you bring to this life. I hope you join us. This deal is only for the next two weeks. I’ll leave a link here. If you’re even thinking about the Virtual Retreat, now is the time to do it. I’ll see you there.

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8 Replies to “Avoiding a Difficult Conversation Because You’re Afraid of Their Answer?”

  • “Everything’s all good until you start making waves.” sounds like to me that this lovely lady was actually walking on eggshells in her relationship, and that’s never a good place to be.

  • OMG, thank you so much for this! This helps me get over the grief after my marriage with who I thought it was my “soulmate”. It seems it was a very powerful fantasy that was stopping me from seeing the reality of what it was. I was so convinced that he was the one for me, that even after two years after the divorce, I still find myself thinking that I have lost the best man of my life, “my soulmate”. And I can see now that this gave me so much sorrow, that I don’t even give a chance to any other man to make me happy. I so stubbornly refused to see his selfishness and find excuses for him and criticism to myself for even thinking about it! And the Universe has such an ironic sense of humour, that the men I met after the divorce were so much more selfish. Until now, I didn’t realise this was for me to SEE CLEARLY, not to feel sorry for what I lost.

  • Loved this video. It helped me soo much to have the nerve to speak my truth and then be okay with the worst outcome. I did end up ending the relationship, but I felt relief not grief.

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