How To Save a Life

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posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 05:19 AM
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Let's face it: sitting down and having a serious talk with somebody else about an issue can be a rather daunting task. There is a high risk of the relationship deteriorating from this point onwards and the outcome of the chat itself is unpredictable. In addition, there are other variables that can affect the successfulness of the talk, including the atmosphere of the location, the timing and the mood of the participants. While the conditions will rarely be optimal, one should strive for the overall mood of the discussion to be calm and collected.

The following is a guide to help individuals who have a person in their lives that they need to have a serious talk with about an issue. It is not perfect and there are bound to people who disagree with sections of it, but I believe it is a good resource to have at your disposal. Whether the person is a significant other, a relative or a friend does not matter. Achieving a constructive and meaningful discussion that ultimately results in a change in behaviour is the goal of the discussion.

Step 1: Prepare


As the saying rightfully goes, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail" and this is no exception. Arrange a time that is friendly to both you and the subject. This should be at a time when they are most calm, aware and receptive to the views of others. Ensure the atmosphere of the location suits the mood of the conversation. Factor in any external variables that might affect the conversation. Write a brief list of what is wrong, what needs to change, why you are doing this, and anything important you might forget to say once emotions run high and you are unable to think as clearly as before.

Step 2: Inform them


Deciding when to inform them is up to you. You might want to let them know earlier in the day that you plan to have a talk with them later that day, or you might decide to just drop it on them as they walk in the door. If you think they are the type of person that might try to avoid or postpone the talk indefinitely, then go for the second option. (Remember step 1 though). Either way, make sure the delivery is polite and sincere.

Step 3: The talk


After sitting down opposite each other in a quiet place free from distractions, it is time to have the actual talk. Have your paper next to you as a cue for your ideas, but don't bury your face and read like it is a script. You want this conversation to feel authentic.

a. The opening: in a calm and reasonable tone, inform them that there is an issue in their life that needs to be addressed. Be as clear and concise as possible. Don't fall into the trap of going off on tangents; introduce your key thoughts on the issue and what exactly needs to be discussed. Stress that this is not a lecture, but a discussion.

b. The middle: try to remain calm and collected as you expand on the key ideas introduced in the opening. Elaborate on the fact that this issue has wide-reaching implications for others as well as the individual. Remember that this is a discussion. Inform them that you value and welcome their input and you are doing this to help them. Let them talk and voice their concerns about the issue. If you find they are mostly silent, encourage, but do not force, them to respond. Also remember to mention that everybody has their issues and they are by no means abnormal or different in this regard.

c. The conclusion: the conversation will eventually lead to a close; happy, unhappy or neutral. When you sense this, let them know that the reason for the talk was ultimately to resolve the issue. Continue to be polite and courteous towards them no matter how rude or hostile they have become. Try hard not to repeat what you said earlier or they will feel like it's a lecture. Also let them know that you are there to talk to them about their issues or any others they come across.

Step 4: Ending the talk


By now you probably feel warn out and emotionally exhausted. Depending on how well the conversation went, you might like to end it with a handshake or a hug which reinforces the idea that you are somebody genuine and supportive that they can talk to in the future. If the discussion ended in a negative manner, then remain as calm as you can. Try approaching them once, if they resist then step back and let them have some alone time.

Step 5: Reflection


After it is over, you should feel a huge weight off your shoulders. It's time now to let things be and give the other person some space and have your own. Think about how the conversation went and what improvements you could make. Don't fixate on the negatives, but be aware of where you went wrong and learn from your mistakes. Give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage and conviction to go through with the talk. If you were sincere throughout, then you have probably changed a life for the better.




posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 05:34 AM
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S&f, great tips. I " know" I will use your thread as a resource one day.
Unfortunately probably many times. Timing can absolutely be a huge hurdle.
It seems to be my biggest hurdle anyway


Eta: The Frey - how to save a life, a song that tugs at my heart & soul....and puts a tear in my eye.
edit on 13-11-2012 by feelingconnected because: (no reason given)
edit on 13-11-2012 by feelingconnected because: Spellcheck



posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 05:37 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 




Step 1: Prepare


yes agree




Step 2: Inform them


I will need to drop it on them as they walk in the door.




Step 3: The talk .


Choosing a happy topic may lead to a happy ending.





Step 4: Ending the talk

This can be the hardest part.




Step 5: Reflection


Sincereity to see your own faults and consider improvements to self.



posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 05:39 AM
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Wow, so much detail and planning for something so seemingly simple. Honestly, I found it to be massively helpful, recently I have had to have a discussion with my friend about relationship problem, and it was rather akward.

If I had followed your advice then things would have probably gone so much better. Well there is always next time.

Anyways, thanks for the advice, S+F and favorited ( to refer to whenever the situation presents itself)



posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 06:45 AM
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You provided a very helpful and rational guide to something frought with emotional difficulty.

Thank you. I think its a useful approach to a difficult subject.
edit on 11/13/2012 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


i wish u would have posted this two weeks ago, i tried to have a serious talk about a problem that my gf had, now we dont talk and last time we did it was all bad, i said things that will pretty much null and void all chances of reconciliation. timing, it is a b*tch



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 03:10 AM
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Thanks for the positive comments, fellow members. Sorry to those who would have benefited by having had the thread posted sooner. Hindsight is both a blessing and a curse.

The theme of the opening post was inspired by the song 'How To Save a Life' by The Fray (2005 song). I have always connected very deeply with the song since the first time I heard it, but the idea to create a thread that was inspired by it only came to me very recently. My intention with the thread was to help people and I am glad that those who saw it took something out of it.



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 08:23 PM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Definetly. However, I am the one who needs the talk, unfortunately. There is no one to give it, though. I suppose I could have a talk with myself. Either way, this is for sure the way to go about it.





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