How To Overcome Family Anxiety

The good news is that anxiety from speaking to your family about difficult topics like money or health issues can be overcome.

With practice and the right strategies it can even become a skill.

I know because I remember being unable to have an open emotional conversation with the people I loved.

This was before I knew how to walk into any room and tell someone how I felt in a loving and comfortable tone.  I wanted to feel confident like Oprah in approaching topics that mattered.  Then, in a matter of a few years I was able to speak with my family and loved ones openly, building strong multi-year relationships.

For me, when I started I would say something very direct and I knew my approach wasn’t working because the room got really tense.  Sometimes tempers flared.  I thought ‘If I just back off everything will be ok.”

But the problem is that this approach doesn’t work.

People notice.  The problem doesn’t go away.  In fact, the older you get the more important it is to be able to have these types of conversations.  Like it or not the ability to have small talk matters less later in life, the skills to build relationships during difficult times matters more.

For me, I would attempt to give people the logical or analytical answer to an emotional topic and then stare with nervous eyes as everyone around me got steamier and tried to change the subject.  And then later alone I would beat myself up for not saying the right thing.  This went on for over a decade.

How many of us have experienced one or more of the following?

  • Sitting down with a loved one to talk about money or health issues and getting “yeah, everything is fine” as an answer and a distant look at the ceiling
  • Eating lunch with a loved one and spending an hour saying in your head “when can I bring up Dad’s health challenges?” and leaving without saying a word about it
  • Having to hold back tears when you’re about to start talking to a loved one about their health and not knowing if that’s a bad thing

I have been there myself.  Many Many times.

There are tons of relationship books and advice gurus out there with books like “How to have a perfect relationship!” “The Top 10 Guide To Family And Money” “Caregivers Playbook”.  And the primary message they sell is to ‘take time for yourself!’

Self-care is incredibly important but it’s far from the full answer.  You need much more to navigate a challenging conversation.

After studying, talking to experts and trying different approaches for years I identified a few simple beliefs holding me back…and some key insights that completely changed how I spoke to my family and other people I cared about.

The point is I was able to slowly overcome the anxiety to speak with people I loved about difficult topics – and now I teach people from all walks of life how to have these conversations.

Yet I still remember those nerve racking situations where I would say something and the room would immediately get uncomfortable.

I really knew the details of the topic I wanted to speak about but I wasn’t emotionally connecting with the person in front of me.  I was torpedoing the conversation even before it had started.

If this resonates with you I want to share with you a few of my best tips on how to have challenging conversations with your loved one and finally become the person everyone trusts in your family.

This content is normally something I only share in my premium courses and it has never been shown publicly – until now.

Together we’re going to take the first step in overcoming family anxiety about topics of money and health.


“How do I stop being so nervous?”

It’s natural to feel anxious in some instances.  For example, if I get a call from my Dad’s caregiver that he is asking to eat chocolate ice cream for the third time in one afternoon you better bet I’m going to feel a little worried (and a bit frustrated).

To help you stop from getting nervous talking to people you love I’ve created this free “Social Skills Cheat Sheet”.

In this cheat sheet you will learn:

  • My best strategies for overcoming nerves when approaching a difficult conversation
  • A system to come up with pre-planned answers to prevent a conflict before it happens
  • Skills you can practice today to immediately look “natural” at these types of conversations
  • How to go from “nervous nelly” to relationship guru

Social Skills Toolkit v2Click to get the Social Skills Toolkit now.


“I don’t know where to start.”

When we’re nervous about speaking with a loved one it’s easy to get stalled at the beginning and never bring up the topic at all.  The topic spins around in your head but the words on how to begin just don’t come out.

After this happens several times we might look around for quick solutions – books online, search Google, but after a few attempts we find crazy stuff like this:

Conversation hacks:

  • Wait until the other person brings it up so they don’t get angry
  • Focus on your own life
  • Bring them cookies and ‘woo’ them into thinking your way
  • Go on a week-long yoga retreat and come back recharged

Could you ever imagine someone supporting you during a difficult health situation and they arrive in your home and say “I just came back from three days with my shaman and I feel like I’m really ready to talk”?  You would look at this person like they were an alien.

I want to show you how to have honest intimate conversations without strange techniques that make people look at you like a deer in headlights.

I have created a How To Start Toolkit for you.

In it you will find:

  • Best opening questions to start a difficult conversation
  • Strategies to identify what you really need to say
  • How to ask a challenging question
  • How to make your loved one feel supported
  • Your conversation toolbox: how to bring up any difficult topic in a measured manner

How To Start Toolkit v2Check out my How To Start Toolkit.


Bonus: How to prepare for a difficult family conversation in 5 minutes

Family conversations about health or money can be incredibly awkward.   We’ve all been at the kitchen table with our parents and someone brings up the topic of finances.

It’s always uncomfortable…we start to feel guilty for the awkward silence in the room.

It’s a struggle many of us have.   There’s even a Tumbler for awkward family conversations:

Tumbler PictureNext time you have a family conversation I want to show you exactly what to do to make sure it goes smoothly.

I’ve prepared a 5 step checklist that’ll help you enter into a challenging conversation with cool nerves.

It’ll only take 5 minutes to review before going to see a loved one, and once you do, you’ll have a proven way to connect while sharing your honest concerns.

Family Conversations Checklist v2Get my free 5 minute family conversation checklist

 Yes, I want to feel connected and confident when talking to my family about a challenging topic.

Get access below now!

Get my free 5 minute family conversation checklist

Yes, I want to feel connected and confident when talking to my family about a challenging topic. Get access below now!

Published: March 12, 2015
By: JP Adams

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