13 Other Ways to Say “We Need to Talk”

Sometimes you need to initiate a conversation without first telling someone what you’d like to discuss.

This might be because it’s a private matter, because you’re too busy to get into it right now, or because you’re communicating via text, and it needs to be discussed in person.

Therefore, we’ve compiled some phrases to use for these occasions.

Other Ways to Say “We Need to Talk”

  • I would like to discuss something with you
  • Are you free for a chat?
  • Can I run something past you?
  • Can I talk to you about something?
  • Do you have a moment to talk?
  • Do you have a minute to talk?
  • Are you available to talk?
  • Got a minute? 
  • Can we have a meeting?
  • Are you open to a conversation?
  • I’d like to share my thoughts with you
  • Can I share my opinions with you?
  • I need to share something with you


  • Firstly, “we need to talk” is a phrase that carries negative connotations, and you should therefore use it with caution.
  • Secondly, as a formal alternative, you can try using “I would like to discuss something with you.”
  • Finally, if you’re looking for an informal option, try using “are you free for a chat?”

Don’t click away! If you’re still wondering how to say “we need to talk” in a nice way, then keep on reading, because we’ll examine a formal and informal synonym.

Moreover, we’ll go into more detail about why “we need to talk” should be avoided.

I Would Like to Discuss Something With You (Formal)

A formal alternative to “we need to talk” is “I would like to discuss something with you.”

Unlike “we need to talk,” this phrase is appropriate to use in a professional setting, because it doesn’t have the same associations with negative conversations and interpersonal conflict.

Furthermore, this is a phrase that you can feel comfortable using to address your boss, clients, or anyone with whom it’s important to maintain a formal and professional tone.

Finally, here are some examples:

Dear Mbali,

I would like to discuss something with you in person.

Are you available to meet this afternoon?

Kind regards,

Dear Grace,

I would like to discuss something with you.

Please could you give me a call as soon as you are free?


Kind regards,

Are You Free for a Chat? (Informal)

When speaking to a romantic partner, the phrase “we need to talk” can be quite frightening, as it is usually followed by bad news.

Therefore, “are you free for a chat?” is our favorite informal synonym for this phrase.

After all, the phrasing of this question sounds far less urgent and serious than the original phrase. This makes it a better phrase to use than “we need to talk” if you want to have a conversation with your partner, or someone else, but don’t want to worry them.

Finally, let’s see a few example sentences making use of this phrase.

Hi Chase, are you free for a chat? Nothing serious, I just need your opinion on something.

Are you free for a chat after work? I have some good news.

Is “We Need to Talk” Always Bad?

“We need to talk” isn’t really a phrase you can use without scaring the person you’re talking to.

This is because sending this message via text has essentially become shorthand for “I’m going to break up with you.”

That isn’t to say that a “we need to talk” message is always going to lead to bad news, because there’s a chance that someone is saying it innocently.

Additionally, even when a “we need to talk” message is pre-empting a difficult discussion, that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes, we need to have these difficult conversations and our lives are improved by confronting them.

Nonetheless, this phrase is highly likely to inspire anxiety in anyone on the receiving end of it, so we would recommend using it with caution.

Following on from this, we hope that you now have a clear understanding of the phrase “we need to talk” and feel comfortable using our formal and informal alternatives.

Why not bookmark this page so you can come back to it anytime you need a new way to initiate a discussion?