I’m Having a Reaction to What You’re Saying: Staying Connected in Difficult Conversations

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Feelings, Healthy Relationships, Nonviolent Communication

Sometimes, when we’re engaged in a difficult conversation where we’re having a strong reaction, it can be really hard to know what to say or do next.

Have you ever had that moment in a conversation where you just go “deer in the headlights” and aren’t sure what to say next?  

And then you notice yourself having a lot of judgments about what the other person said, but you also have “rules” in your mind about being “nice” and so you stall out?

On this week’s podcast we dive into three compelling topics:

  • Protecting pets and animals from abuse
  • Holding space for a friend in a harmful relationship
  • And, responding to prejudice

If you’ve ever wondered how to have kind but direct and honest conversations about something that matters to you, this episode is for you.  We explore what it takes to respond in courageous ways that allow us to be authentic and to show up with clear integrity, even if our authenticity and integrity might create awkwardness or discomfort for others.

To hear more, check out the entire podcast.  You can also jump from question to question by using these show notes:

Show notes:
(0:00) Intro
(1:18) After witnessing the abuse of a living being, how do I approach the person responsible?
(25:09) How do I help a friend who is ashamed because of harmful things their partner said to them?
(38:53) How do I regulate my nervous system and get in touch with needs and emotions in the moment?
(45:14) How should I respond to racial prejudice with someone who makes a negative comment?
(56:24) Instead of asking “why” questions, what is the better way of asking questions?
(59:17) Outro

How do you handle “deer in the headlights” moments?  What helps you progress?  I’d love to know.  Leave a comment below.


  1. Holly

    Where is your podcast? I don’t know what it’s called or where to find it!

    • Lynn Smith

      Thanks so much for the note, Holly. The podcast is called Conversations from the Heart and you can locate it anywhere you listen to podcasts – I added a direct link to the above post. Enjoy!

  2. Corina

    The link to the podcast does not seem to exist. Am I missing it?

    • Lynn Smith

      Thanks so much, Corina, for the note: the link is now added!


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