EP 296: How to Have a Hard Conversation with a Parent with Max

This episode is about having difficult conversations with our parents. Today’s caller, Max, is trying to avoid being triggered when he speaks to his father. We discuss how Max can ease the impact on his inner child and not experience an expectation hangover.

If a parent or someone we love opens the door to have a conversation we want to run right through and share everything we have been wanting to say for the last 20 years. The other person may feel bombarded and not be ready to hear everything we have to say in one conversation.

If you are offered an open door with someone who has been closed for a very long time, do not rush through it thinking it is a green light to speak about everything you have been holding in for decades. Sometimes we need triggering events to create momentum and shifts in a relationship. It is better to approach the situation slowly.

*Coaches — this is where you want to be mindful with your clients. For someone who has a triggering relationship, if they have an opportunity like that you want to support them and guide them through walking through the door slowly. Coach them toward taking baby steps so they don’t end up with a massive expectation hangover.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Do you have patterns of escapism?
  • Is there a parent whose love you are seeking? Do you seek out their love in unhealthy ways?
  • Have you always felt like one or both of your parents don’t understand you?
  • Do you feel so different from your family you don’t know if you will ever fit in?

Max’s Question:

Max would like advice on how to keep himself grounded when he speaks with his father.

Max’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • He was disloyal in his relationship.
  • He knew avoidance issues were a pattern throughout his life.
  • Love and sex are separate for him.
  • He is the oldest of six children.
  • His childhood family was emotionally suppressive.
  • His father struggled with alcohol abuse and infidelity.
  • His biological mother abandoned him.
  • He then escaped to Mother’s house later in life.
  • He does a lot of personal growth work.
  • He has opposing views from his family about current events.
  • He wants a compassionate embrace from his father.
  • He wants to escape when he feels overwhelmed.
  • He is learning to set boundaries.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Set an intention of having his father get to know him better.
  • Figure out what little Max needs.
  • Approach his relationships slowly, in a way that does not shock his inner child.


  • If you are going to have a conversation with someone who has opened a door, write out some questions or comments. Go into those kinds of conversations prepared so your nervous system doesn’t go into overdrive.
  • When making a big decision, check in with your inner child and do not push yourself. Taking baby steps can be powerful.


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Sometimes we need triggering events to create momentum and shifts in a relationship. Click To Tweet Being too positive is a form of suppression. Click To Tweet Sometimes we confuse approval and validation with just wanting to be seen. Click To Tweet

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