Top talking tips for even the quietest people
How to open up and get things off your chest.
If you are going through a tough time, you may be hoping that you snap out of it, or that it’s just a phase you’re going through. When you keep a problem to yourself or overthink a situation too much, it might seem hard to handle but often having a good rant to someone you trust or a stranger even, can help ease your worries. Or simply talking about an issue out loud can make it feel less difficult. Starting a conversation and opening up about how you feel can be the hard part though.
First of all talking about what’s going on for you is really a good way of helping you work through your emotions. You don’t have to try to manage everything by yourself; there are people willing to help you get through any situation, no matter how big or how small it may be.
If you’re used to bottling up your feelings and dealing with things yourself, then talking about stuff to someone else may feel a little strange.
Although everyone agrees that talking about your mental health is good, noone seems to acknowledge how tough it can be to know what to say. With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips to help you along.
Step One: Talk to someone
Talking about something that is bothering you is important but that doesn’t mean you have to shout your most deepest thoughts from the rooftops to just anyone. Deciding who to talk to is the first step. You’ll know who you will feel most comfortable talking to. If you don’t have anyone close you can talk to like a family member or friend, have a think about who you could talk to. Is there a teacher at school, a youth worker or a sports coach that you would feel comfortable talking to? Would you feel more comfortable speaking to health professional like your college counsellor or GP first?
Tips on how to talk to someone
- Find a time and place where you know that you won’t be interrupted and can take your time to explain how you have been feeling.
- If you are nervous about getting tongue tied or forgetting something write down a few points on a piece of paper to keep you right.
- You may not feel able to put the exact words on how you feel. Instead explain the emotions you’ve been feeling. There’s no right or wrong answer, just be honest. If you’ve been feeling angry, sad or frustrated — say exactly that.
- Be aware that the person might not know that much about mental health so it might help to go onto SpunOut.ie and print off some of the mental health factsheets for them to read so they can understand a little more.
- Actually saying what’s wrong and sharing it with someone else can put a whole new perspective on things. The person you talk to might also suggest options that you had not thought of before.
- If you don’t receive the reaction you were hoping for try not to get upset. It might take a while for them to understand fully what you are saying, so give them some time and try to answer any questions they have as best you can.
- If you work up the courage to talk to someone and they are unable to help or don’t help you, then try again and keep trying until you get the support you deserve. It might help to talk to a support organisation like Samaritans who also have phone, text and email support.
Step Two: Talk to your GP (if you need some extra support)
If you feel you need a little more support than what a friend can give you, then the next step is to make an appointment to visit your GP. It might feel awkward talking about your feelings if you’re not used to talking about it. Your GP is used to people coming to them with all sorts of issues and will have met with someone with a similar problem a million times before.
- Ask a friend or family member to go with you if that would make it easier. Don’t forget to ask any questions that you may have and ask your doctor to explain anything you might not understand. For more advice on going to see a GP for a mental health issue, click here.
- Your GP may refer you onto other services for further support, or ask you to come back and see them again. For anyone over 18 with a medical card there is now a free counselling service which your GP can refer you to.
- If you cannot afford to access your GP, check out some of the free or low cost support organisations around the country that can help. Your local youth drop-in centre may have more information about what is available or you can check out SpunOut.ie’s database of support organisations on www.spunout.ie/help
Step Three: Talk to your family (if you have not already done so)
You may not feel like telling your family about what's on your mind, but having them there to support you can really help. You might be afraid to tell them what you’ve been going through because you think they won’t understand, but the fact is that they care about you and would hate for you to deal with things by yourself. For more tips on talking about mental health, check out our article here.
It might help to have someone with you for support when you talk to them, and to print them off some information about mental health to help them understand. Check out www.spunout.ie/mentalhealth for more information.