Most people want to avoid conflict and potentially stressful situations – this is human nature.   

People often find it easier to avoid communicating something that they think is going to be controversial or bad, putting off the communication and letting the situation fester. 

A manager may hold off telling an employee that their standard of work is unsatisfactory.  You may put off having that 'difficult' conversation with your partner, especially if it concerns some kind of wrongdoing, financial or emotional issues.  A child may put off telling their parents that they are struggling with classes at school. 

Most people can think of times when they have put off having that ‘difficult’ conversation, most people will also recognise that putting off the difficult conversation alleviates short-term anxiety.  However, constantly putting off difficult communication situations often leads to feelings of frustration, guilt, annoyance with oneself, anger, a reduction in self-confidence and ultimately more stress and anxiety.

By following some simple guidelines and using some well-tuned communication skills communicating in difficult situations becomes easier.