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10 Tips for Radical Honesty Completion Talks

Is there something troubling you from the past?

Are you feeling a bit queasy and uneasy when thinking of a certain person?
Are you hurt or angry about events that happened even years back?

I bet you said yes! Most of us do.

Completion talks or honest conversations are one of the key parts of the Radical Honesty practice.

In those talks we tell the other what we resent them for, feel sad about, what has been a secret or not talked about, what we want to talk more about and what we appreciate them for.

There are two vital parts of the talk:

  • you sharing and being present to your own experience and
  • listening to the other person share what is alive in them

Here are a few tips for how to have a completion talk:

1. Talk face to face with the person.

If that’s not possible, then talk via video call. You cannot do such talks by phone, messaging, emails, letter writing etc. If the person is dead, talk to them at their grave site or using a photo.

2. Start your sentences as often as possible with “I resent you for…”

(or “I am mad at you for..”) or “I appreciate you for…” Be clear about what they actually said or did, and separate the fact from your interpretations or stories.

3. Speak in the present tense.

Say “I resent you for…” rather than “I resented you for…” or “I feel sad / happy / confused…”.

4. Eventually, get specific.

Don’t stop with general descriptions of behavior or judgements, get specific about concrete things that happened or were said.

5. Keep noticing your sensations.

Notice what is happening in your body moment to moment. If you notice you are drifting away from your bodily experience you can bring yourself back to your body by noticing the floor under your feet and the chair under your butt.

6. Focus as much as you can on what did happen instead of what didn’t happen.

You staying what they didn’t do or say is about your expectations rather than abou reality. Many times others didn’t even know you had such expectations.

7. Stay in touch with your experience as you talk.

Keep noticing your physical sensations, what you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears and what thoughts you have.

8. Stay with the person beyond the time it takes to exchange resentments.

Completion talk is a dialogue rather than a monologue. Let the other to express what is going on with them and what is arising for them about your sharing.

9. State your appreciations the same way, after you both have fully expressed your specific resentments.

Many times after getting over the anger we have far more ability to access the appreciation and pleasant memories of the other person.

10. Keep it up.

Keep going. Repeat and have more conversations whenever needed.

This guidance is taken from chapter 7 of Radical Honesty and chapter 9 of Practicing Radical Honesty with the additions of Pete and myself. (Yes, this material is so good, Brad repeated it in two different books!) Both books go into much more detail about how to express anger.

Have you had an honest conversation with someone? How was it for you?

Watch this video for more tips on having completion talks or practice Radical Honesty at an upcoming workshop with us!

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