Instead of punishing ourselves for not knowing, we can use that moment to invite someone into the journey with us.
The moment when we realize we don’t know what to say in a tough conversation isn't easy to navigate. There is so much pressure in our culture to always have the answer and know what’s next that it’s can seem better to pretend that we know what to say even when we’re completely unsure.
But here’s the thing.
When we realize that we aren't sure to say, it gives us an opening to reach out in ways we haven’t before. Instead of punishing ourselves for not knowing, we can use that moment to invite someone into the journey with us.
We can say:
I’m not sure what our next step should be instead of just doubling-down on our point of view.
I thought I saw a clear path through this, but perhaps we need to do some more brainstorming together, instead of blaming the other person for not having the answer either.
I want us to keep moving forward, but I need to take some time to think first, before jumping to the conclusion that we’ve just got to find a quick way out.
Not knowing what to say in a tough conversation is a signal that we need to pause, shift gears, or give ourselves time to work through some things. It’s not a sign that we’ve failed. It’s simply another stage in the dialogue that we can learn how to find our way through.