I don’t know…what to say

Hi I’m Yves and I practice conversations with people.

This cartoon reminds me of a couple of magical moments I’ve had over the past weeks.

I noticed a theme in these magical moments.

So, I’ve been practicing conversations with different students over the past week. The setup is a little bit like this: the student comes to me because they have a challenging conversation they keep thinking about. We practice the conversation together while I play the other person…in an understanding mood.

I play the other person with the intention to deeply connect, to deeply hear and understand where the student is coming from and to come to some shared understanding at the end of the conversation.

One of the ways I do this is to stick to feelings and needs. I keep empathizing with the student and with myself and then see what happens.

This past week the same thing keeps happening. We go about for 5-10 minutes or so, with me really listening deeply to how painful and sad and frustrating the situation is for the student.

And then…

…without any warning…

…the student says,…

…with a soft gaze in their eyes…

… in a gentle voice…

“I don’t know what to say…”

And it is in this moment that my heart opens up.

We look each other in the eyes and have come to the openness, the deep connection, the acceptance that the student was looking for.


Usually we look at each other for ten seconds or so, silently celebrating the moment together.

A smile appears on our faces.

Our bodies totally at ease.

Now that we’ve reached this point, another magical moment follows.

It suddenly becomes clear what the student wants and needs.

They say it themselves or I support them with a question like:

“What is that you would like right now?


“What is a next step that you can ask of yourself or from the other person?”

We’ve landed at the bottom of the ocean, where two oysters just opened up.

Because one came to radical acceptance and was able to speak from a vulnerable heart with sincerity: I don’t know what to say…

This week I’m going to practice getting in touch with this vulnerable spot, where I don’t know what to say. And discover what words or actions will flow from there.

Would you like to join me?

Disclaimer: the people who teach it, usually need it the most.