As a caregiver you’re going to experience a lot of stress. You’re also going to be expected to maintain communications with all sorts of people while dealing with that stress. This is going to make for some interesting conversations. If you’re not careful, those conversations can become arguments quickly. How you handle them is important.
Stick to What You’re Talking about Right Now
If you’re letting the conversation bounce around to other topics, you’ll be there all day. Epic arguments are made and lost based on how many different topics you choose to cover. Stick to what you’re talking about right now, and only to that topic. If someone wants to discuss something else, you can agree to do so at a different time and when everyone is in a better space.
Listen More than You Talk
You might think it’s more important to have your say, especially if you’re convinced you’re the one who is right. But if you listen more than you talk, you might just find that there’s more going on than you realize. Sometimes people just want to feel heard and that alone can be enough to de-escalate the argument back to a simple conversation.
Reframe Some of What You’re Saying
When you’re tired, stressed, and having a conversation you don’t want to have, you might find that you start to use words like “always” and “never.” Or you might use accusatory tones to try to get your point across. While that might make you feel better right there in the moment, it’s not going to do you much good in the long run. Reframe some of what you’re planning to say so that it isn’t as incendiary.
Find a Compromise or Take a Break
At some point you’re going to need to either come to some sort of compromise or take a break from the conversation. You can’t keep hammering away at a topic with no end in sight. That doesn’t do you or the other person any good. This doesn’t have to be about putting a winning check mark in your column. If neither of you are getting anywhere, table the discussion until you’re both in a better place.
When you’re under a great deal of stress, even simple conversations can become massive undertakings. If you’re not careful, something that could have been handled easily can escalate out of control. The last thing that you want to do as a caregiver is to create strife where none has to exist.