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Learn About Tough Conversations

The teen years come with lots of changes and new struggles. Sometimes this means having tough conversations with others, such as friends, romantic partners and parents.

Here are some good guidelines to help you keep a cool head and present your best case during those hard discussions:

  • Gather your thoughts before you have the conversation so you can present what you have to say in a clear and organized way.
  • Plan a time to have the conversation where you are alone and relaxed. In the grocery store or at a sporting event are not good times to have important conversations.
  • Stay calm and sensible. Your parents or partner are more likely to listen to you and take what you have to say seriously if you talk calmly instead of with a lot of emotion.
  • Keep it about you, not about what your friends or relatives have done or can do.
  • Be confident. Your feelings and desires are valid, and if you take yourself seriously, other people are more likely to take you seriously too.
  • Be respectful of the response you get. It is possible that the response you hear may not be the response you expected or wanted. Be prepared for it. Be respectful that others may disagree with you sometimes. Listen attentively to whatever they have to say.
  • Think before you speak. Once you’ve said something, you can’t take it back. Don’t lash out and say something you will be sorry about later.
  • Consider having a mediator. If you know that the conversation is going to be really tough, you may want to consider having a calm, fair person there who can help keep the conversation from getting ugly and out of hand.