Heart to Heart Connection

How to Have Difficult Conversations

Heart to Heart connection has never been more important, especially in these times of civil unrest and Covid-19 social distancing. There are many difficult conversations happening. Sometimes we have them from afar, and often online. So understanding the importance of heart to heart connection and learning how to have difficult conversations that lead to a deeper understanding is more important now than ever before.

When you begin to establish heart to heart connections, you learn how to turn conflict into resolution that brings you closer. After a difficult conversation, when you learn how to listen from love, you will meet each other with compassion—heart to heart. You bring your whole self fully present to the conversation. As both of you sit at the table, without expectation, you will find it far easier to resolve your issues with a gentle loving kindness.

In a conversation that requires listening intensely with kindness and non-judgement, you can engage in connection with others without pretense or having any kind of agenda. When you listen from love, reflect on what you’ve heard and respond gently, your conflict can turn into clarity and understanding for one another.

So how do you communicate with heart to heart connection?

If you want to create truly intimate and loving relationships with excellent communication, you need to learn specific strategies.

Here are the tools you must mindfully practice

  • Listen, reflect and respond (in this order).
  • Engage in tough conversations with kindness, honesty and an open heart.
  • Be open hearted and have zero expectation of the outcome.
  • Speak with vulnerability from your own experience and stand in your feelings of self- worth, regardless of the situation.
  • Be a thoughtful and compassionate listener as you listen with love.
  • Be curious about what the other person’s view of reality is.
  • Sometimes, agree to disagree.
  • Choose kindness over being right, and you are right every time.

When you use the tried and true wisdom of my Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff books you can better learn how to have heart to heart connections. And so I encourage you to listen with an open heart and mind with kindness. These qualities are among the main tenets of learning how not to sweat the small stuff, which I share in my books.

Understanding The Nature of Conflict

No matter who you are, conflict is inevitable in all relationships.

There are several ways most of us show up in conflict:

  • You’re in the habit of being reactive and defensive when you feel hurt by something someone says.
  • You have a wall around your heart that shields you from being hurt and makes you turn away in silence from a difficult conversation.
  • Or, you might have no walls leaving your heart fully exposed and vulnerable.
  • You forget that your way is not the way—it’s just your way. We all view the world through our own unique filter and lens.

Do any of these ways to deal with conflict sound familiar?

Likely so. Rooted at the core of each of us—woven deeply into our insecurities—is the fear of losing control or being wrong. We worry that if we expose our truest self, (that place where personality meets soul), then we will let down our guard and become too vulnerable where we can be hurt.

But not only do these masks and games fail to protect our hearts, they actually create barriers to healthy relationships.

We can access better understanding for another through deeper listening. As we nurture real connection with the freedom to be ourselves, we give others the freedom to be themselves too.

(In my Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Happiness Training Course, I share principles which help you to access your best wisdom and heartfelt compassion. Soon all of your relationships will vastly improve! So if you want more on this subject, check out my course here.)

How to Have Difficult Conversations

Though it may sound cliche, I like to begin tough conversations with the words, “Let’s have a heart to heart and talk about what’s going on here.” Speaking intention aloud is powerful. And this sentence sets the tone for the discussion to follow.

Here’s an example from my work life where I had to have a difficult conversation with a team member…

In my business, I’m often required to have hard conversations. This past week I had to ask for some clarity from a teammate because I didn’t feel he was honoring the work agreement that we had. Truth is, I was feeling taken advantage of.

I wanted to be compassionate but clear with my intention. And I knew that if I didn’t attack him, but rather spoke to him with an open heart, he would be less likely to become defensive. So I told him I was curious about how he felt he was doing in honoring our work agreement. Next, I listened without judgement intently. I reflected on what he said and responded by pointing out the ways I saw he was not fulfilling his commitment to me as per our agreement. Without blame or shame we were able to have a difficult talk that ended well. He commited to do better.

As in this example, when I tap into my heart and speak from a place of kindness, the truth will come forward.

When I stay compassionate to the other person’s feelings, I can deliver what I have to say with empathy. If I stay present to my heart, as I communicate, the right words will flow.
There doesn’t have to be defensiveness or unkindness. It’s not a power play.
Instead, it’s a heart to heart conversation—human to human—in which we can find reconciliation even if we do not initially see eye to eye.

Even conflict can turn into deeper connections when you access your heart.

Stay In Your Heart To Speak To Others’

Let your whole self be seen with courage. As you speak and listen from an open heart, words of kindness, honesty, and compassion will follow. When you practice more, trust will grow and the walls that keep you from connecting deeply will come down.

From my heart to yours… may your conversations be valuable and intimate, and may conflicts dissolve into understanding.

It is, indeed, how to live your most vibrant life.

Treasure the gifts of life and love,
XO Kristine

Here are additional resources that I think you’ll love…

Subscribe to my podcast, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Live the Big Stuff! Every week, I share the tried-and-true wisdom of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and bring on other leading experts in their fields to share insights on health, mindfulness, spirituality, relationships, family, and so, so much more!

Take my new Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Happiness Training Courses; You Can Be Happy! And my latest course with mindfulness expert Dr. Shauna Shapiro, You Can Be Mindful! For just $29.99 you’ll receive lifetime access, one free group coaching call, AND you can take these courses right from the comfort of your own living room!

Learn more about building your resilience during these times. Read my last article here.