Here are a few questions we have received about completion talks & our answers:
“Shall I just let the talk take its own course? Or would preparation would be helpful?”
I suggest that you do indeed allow the talk to take its own course and don’t try to prepare too much for it. I invite you to allow yourself to be open to whatever arises in the moment rather than having any sort of fixed plan or goal for the talk, aside from simply hoping to express things that you haven’t yet expressed so you can get to a better place with yourself and not feeling like something is still unfinished between you and them.
“I can’t think of any specific resentments at the moment, I had many earlier”.
That is fine. And while you are speaking to them, if any resentment (or any other emotion) arises for you, you can express that in the moment.
“What are the next step after making a request to talk and getting no answer?”
You can ask again. Sometimes we have to ask people several times before they respond that they are willing to talk to us.
If you haven’t already, you can share in another message to them that you hear that they have reservations about revisiting the past with you. And you can tell him that your intention is not to try to change the past, yet to get over it as there are still some things about your relationship that you judge are still unsettled for you. You can tell them that you don’t aim to get into any sort of debate about who is right or wrong between you two, that you wish to express some things to them and that you wish for them to listen to you. And that they don’t necessarily have to respond if they don’t want to. And you can tell them that you’re willing to hear anything that they may wish to express to you.
If they don’t respond to your further message(s), then you can always go commando and just show up on the doorstep of their home or workplace and ask them again if they’re willing to speak to you. And if they say no then, you can go ahead and express yourself anyway. I do know of people who have showed up at the other person’s door and even when they were unable to speak to the person, something felt more complete for them by having at least tried in that way.
“How to complete with someone who is not willing to meet even after I requested several times?”
In my experience it is not unusual that some people, especially an ex-partner, are not willing to meet and have an honest conversation face to face. I kept asking my ex-partner for four years until he was willing to set up a meeting which we both found healing and far less angry than I had anticipated.
My advice is keep asking for a meeting and also explaining your motivation for doing so. Something like:
“I want to meet you to feel more connected and complete with you. I would very much appreciate if you are willing to meet. And even if you don’t feel a need to meet I would love you to do it for me. I have noticed that some things from the past are on my mind and at times troubling me. There are also many things I appreciate you for and I want to share those with you face to face.”
And “I appreciate you for our friendship / the years together and xx (or whatever feels right to you)”.
If they say no to your request to meet I propose you keep asking and explaining your motivation and intent.
And if she/he refuses ongoingly or does not reply you have two options: to show up in their doorstep (some/most people in those situations are actually willing to talk and some find it freaky) or work on it in another way. In Radical Honesty we do hot seat / empty seat work to prepare for important conversations. And at times the hot seats can bring the closure if it is impossible to meet the person in real life (they are dead, not been found, not willing to talk).
Also an option is that you talk to her/his picture, expressing everything that is in your mind and feeling your body while you do it. You can have a friend as a silent witness or do this alone.
“How can I have an honest relationship when my parent refuses to engage, tells me to shut up or leaves?”
That is one of the most tricky things I judge: to keep expressing yourself while the other says or shows somehow that they don’t want to hear, engage or share themselves or open up about their emotions.
Here comes a useful idea at the core Radical Honesty (easier said than done!): this is not about changing other people (and if we want to change other people then fully own it).
“I did explain to him the purpose is to free ourselves and our interaction from unsolved/unspoken issues, share feelings, show our vulnerability, tell our truth to each other… that it isn’t a court”.
I appreciate you for doing that, and it might be that something of what you said also was sticking with them and is working on their subconscious or landing slowly (or not).
In my experience with my mom, I needed several talks before she was more open to listen and stay present and share a bit more. And she so far she did not share much about her emotions.
“I imagine he/she is scared”
That indeed might the case and time and your persistency can help with that. Most of us tend to be afraid of honesty as we are not used to it and didn’t see how parents and other adults expressed their emotions in a healthy and honest way in our childhood. Many of us have been taught that honesty is inappropriate and brings something bad along and it’s a long journey to re-learn that honesty is a normal human state, like we know when we were kids before we were taught out of it.
So I don’t have a magic wand kind of solution or advice for you besides: stay with it! Have persistence. And when you can access your compassion towards the other person, use that.
For more tips, check out this video on Radical Honesty completion talks: