Having the conversation

There are a number of things we can do to help to get a conversation started. 

Prepare for the conversation 

Have some idea of what you want to talk about. It might help to write down your main concerns or questions. You may find it helpful to complete Worksheet 1.1 before you start.

If you are a bit unsure how the conversation will go, you could practise with a friend or health professional first to increase your confidence.

Have some information that you can give to the other person. It might be something from this website or one of the other resources linked to this site.
You may want to draw on one of the prompt situations on the previous screen to start the conversation.

Explain why you think it’s important to discuss this issue – for both you and them.

Choose the right time and place 

Find a time when you and the person you want to talk with are not distracted or thinking about other things that need to get done.

Choose a place that is quiet and relaxing.

Have an open and honest conversation 

Raise the subject clearly and confidently so that the other person does not just brush it off. Be prepared to explain why it’s important to you and the consequence of not discussing these issues.

Acknowledge any barriers or difficulties you think the other person may have about having this conversation.

If the other person is not comfortable talking at the moment, don’t force the issue. Give them time to consider it further and ask if they would like to talk about it later. 

Be prepared for them to disagree or feel upset. It’s mostly good to get these things into the open and work through them rather than leaving fears or hurt feelings unresolved. 

Be prepared for silences and don’t offer reassurance too quickly, as this can close discussion down.

Decide what the next steps are together 

Try to end the conversation with some practical outcomes. This might be just agreeing to talk again in a week, reading a brochure, following up issues with other people such as their GP or financial adviser, or completing worksheets on this website.

Apart from having a conversation, you might want to express your views through writing a letter, making a recording or some other medium.

You might have a number of small conversations rather than having to have one big, dramatic conversation where everything is discussed.

Worksheet 1.1: starting the conversation

Complete the worksheet by downloading a blank copy and filling it in.

 

Step 2: Sort out your financial issues