How to Say Something They Don’t Want To Hear

It happens to all of us from time to time… we have to say something to someone that they do not want to hear.

Sometimes we’re stuck talking ourselves to death about how to get the message across – other times we bust into it too quickly and it explodes into an argument.

How can you deliver a tough message without driving yourself crazy on the front end or dealing with an explosive situation on the back end?

There are several simple steps we’ll go through here for you, and we have even more in our latest YouTube video which you can watch through this link.

We’ll start with you – first and foremost – in this post.

How To Be Confident In Your Message

If you know you have to deliver a certain message to someone, then you’re aware of the need for it and the importance of delivering it effectively.

There’s really nothing standing in your way other than confidence in your own ability to deliver the message effectively and in a way that it will be understood and accepted.

  1. Instead of walking through the “what if” scenarios and thinking about the way your message will make the other person feel, strip away all of the
    “who” of the situation and get down to the “what” and the “why.”
    What is needed?
    Why is it needed?
    Once you’ve figured that out, then you can bring the people back into the equation and consider how to tailor your message for individual interests and personalities.
  2. Acknowledge your own uncertainty.
    Second-guessing is what you do when you don’t know what’s going to happen.
    You chew over things in your mind and try out different scenarios where things go great and where things go south.
    Then, you waste a ton of time trying to navigate all of the fictitious circumstances you’ve created.
    Stop doing all that, and just acknowledge where you are not feeling confident.
    Check out our exercise in last week’s blog – the one with a line down the center of the page…
    Only, instead of writing beliefs and patterns on the left, write about your uncertainty.
    Then, on the right, write about what you want your certainty to look/feel/sound like.
    Go through this exercise and then decide which of the truths (the left, which is limiting or the right, which is freeing) you will live out and move forward in that line of thinking.
  3. Focus on the content, not the packaging.
    For now, you need to develop out the idea that you have to deliver so that it will be accepted by the people you’re telling it to.
    Make sure you have a full understanding of exactly what it is that you want to say and exactly the outcome you are hoping to achieve.
    Don’t think about that outcome not happening – only visualize the outcome happening.
    Don’t worry about how it’s getting delivered – only focus on what you are delivering.


Once you have your content down, and you’ve worked through the only real issue (uncertainty), then you are ready to deliver a confident message.

Now the only thing that could go wrong is the other person not liking your message.

Ah… there’s the problem.

How To Get Buy-In From Everyone Else

There is a truly simple way that you can get other people on board with your message.

Stay out of it.

Remember, we’re all self-involved.

We’re all about ourselves.

If you keep yourself out of it and deliver the message presented in a way that identifies the other person’s needs, concerns, and interests, then your packaging is simple…

You’ll present the idea as a bonus for the other person.


A mom at home needs to clean, and her 3 kids should help her. Which way will be most effective in getting the kids to get on board with manual labor:

  • Kids! Get in here and help me clean!
  • Hey – everybody needs to clean this mess up! I’m not a maid!
  • Time-out everyone… let’s work together so we can quickly make this place tidy – then everyone can have some free time to do whatever you want!

Are the kids going to want to clean?

Maybe, but probably not (I have one that loves it, and one who acts as though her life may be ending just over folding laundry).

The third one shows the kids what is in it for them… they will get some free time to do whatever they want (without mom on their case) if they work together over a short period of time.

This same thing is applicable in the office place, with friends… everywhere.

If you can present ideas with the “what’s in it for them” part evident, you’re more likely to get buy-in, and you won’t have to talk through hundreds of “what if” narrative scenarios to get there!

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