Finding the Right Time and Place to Talk

There are some conversations that we all worry about having.

Check out our advice for finding the right time and place to make talking about difficult issues, a little bit easier.

How can I get ready to speak about important things?

Think about what you want to say and how to say it before getting into important conversations.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Write a list of the things you want to cover during the conversation
  • Find somewhere private and say what you want to say out loud
  • How does it sound?
  • How would you feel if the situation were reversed and you were hearing this for the first time?

It can also be useful to give the other person a chance to think first. Let them know roughly what you'd like to talk about and arrange a time that suits you both.

When's the best time to talk?

  • Try not to let things build up but remember to take a little time to breathe before instantly reacting to a situation.
  • Try to have conversations about important situations before they happen.
  • Avoid times when you're both tired, stressed¬†or distracted, because something else is happening or just about to happen. Good communication needs its own time.
  • If it's something that's just come up and you (or they) are¬†angry, it's often better to wait until everyone's calmed down. In the meantime, you could agree that you need to talk seriously about what's happened and set a time to do so.
  • If the timing doesn't feel right or you need to think more, you could say you want to have a proper discussion later and agree a time that will be easy for both of you.

Where's the best place to talk?

  • Good communication needs its own space.
  • Find somewhere quiet and private where you can both feel comfortable and won't get interrupted. Switch off the telly and your phone.
  • If you're worried the other person might react badly, find an open public space with other people around like a cafe or a park.
  • This is especially the case if you think they might become aggressive or try to hurt you.
  • To keep the pressure off, find somewhere you won't bump into other people you know, or at least can see them coming.