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== During Coming Out == === Self-Care === Be sure you've taken care of your daily health needs: water, medication, etc. If possible, have an after-care activity planned, so you have something positive to look forward to. === Navigating Crucial Conversations with Loved Ones === Think about the positive outcome you'd like to achieve, and center that in your mind throughout the conversation. Remember that you've chosen to disclose an important part of yourself for a reason, and affirm those reasons with your approach. Remember that you may not be the only one surprising them with this information, they may surprise you with their response as well, which can be a good thing! Open by letting them know that even though this is a heavy topic, it is a very positive development in your life, and you want them to share that with you. Ask questions that give them the opportunity to feel heard; this helps affirm that their perspective matters, and sets a general tone of mutual openness and listening. The topic of the question is less important than the spirit of inclusion, but you could ask deep questions like "What do you value most about our relationship, that you would hope never goes away?" or even simple things like "How are you feeling right now?" State your expectations in return. Remember that while you may have planned this conversation well in advance, they haven't had time to prepare, and may need some gentle guidance. "I don't expect you to understand everything right away, it took me a while to understand this about myself as well, but I do want your love and support for what makes me happy." Plan a follow-through activity together. This can be anything from setting a goal for learning new name/pronouns together, or even just a fun activity that has nothing to do with coming out, that will give them a chance to ask any follow-up questions that may come to mind after this conversation ends.
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