When it comes to challenging communication situations, few match the difficulty of talking to highly trained professionals who have expertise we don’t have. This is especially true when we’re seen by doctors. We’re in a vulnerable position, and it’s not always easy to assert ourselves and make our concerns fully understood. Our question this episode: how can we set ourselves up for successful interactions when there’s an imbalance of power?
This episode topic is inspired by a recent experience I had going to the doctor. Over the course of two days, I saw three different doctors about a problem I was having with my leg. While they were all pleasant to deal with and well-meaning, they also talked really fast, seemed to focus on one part of my story without hearing the whole thing, and scared me a bit with words like “surgery.” I felt a bit frustrated because I wished I’d had the wherewithal to ask them to slow down their explanations and ask more questions. It occurred to me that I can’t be alone in feeling this way, so I decided to seek out someone who could give us some tips on advocating for ourselves in those very stressful situations.
Even though our focus is on talking with your doctor, the information applies to almost any conversation with someone with expertise, which could be a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor, veterinarian, or others with authority and specialized knowledge.
Tami Stackelhouse, founder of the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute and the author of two books: “Take Back Your Life: Find Hope and Freedom from Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Pain” (2015) and “The Fibromyalgia Coach: Feel Better, Change Lives, Find Your Best Job Ever!” (2017). Tami helps women with fibromyalgia, tired of being held prisoner in their own bodies, find hope and freedom. As a fibromyalgia patient, she has gone from disabled to thriving, and she helps her clients to do the same.
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