Hard Conversations

Ann Marie Houghtailing
1 min readFeb 7, 2024

Hard conversations that we fail to have
transmute into an invisible poison called

is why we remain silent

We make excuses
It’s a Tuesday
It won’t make a difference
It’s a Friday
It’s raining
It’s the first sunny day

In the spirit of rabid avoidance
We increase our tolerance
We endure
We bite our tongues
We swallow our own blood mixed with poison

We become sick
We make those around us sick

The conversation waits for us to find our nerve
But we are ferociously committed to our endurance
We bloody our knees on the jagged rocks
of self-loathing

It’s easier
to have tongues cut to ribbons
Sleepless nights
Racing hearts
All of it is easier

Than saying -
This hurts
Please stop
I cannot bear it anymore

We endanger our safety
trying so hard to protect ourselves
to be liked
to avoid discomfort

We slowly
so, so slowly
drown when the dam of our tolerance breaks and ravages us all



Ann Marie Houghtailing

Ann marie Houghtailing is the co founder of Story Imprinting, a communications firm that teaches clients the art and science of storytelling.