#SpeakOut.

Speak about your problems with a close friend or relative and get the tension off your shoulders!

You’ve had a rough few days. It seems like it’s getting worse with each passing day. The burden weighs you down and you don’t know how to deal with it, how to get this stress off your shoulders, and how to just keep going while carrying it on. You’re not the kind who speaks about her/his problems. You just like to deal with it and move on. But keeping your stresses pent up and handling them alone can eventually take a toll on you, physically and mentally.

We don’t realise how much stress we carry on a daily basis, and what the triggers are that put us in a state of stress every day. And to different people, different situations pose a problem. At times like this, finding someone to speak to is helpful. Just the mere act of sharing offloads a bit of the tension. Also, sometimes, while speaking about your problems, you are likely to find solutions to them. All you need is someone who’s willing to listen – someone who doesn’t feel pressured to give you advice but just hear you out.

While the fear of being judged is strong, also know that family and friends are likely to be great people to share your problems with because they know you and how you handle situations, and they are likely to be most supportive as you face your problems and work to find solutions to them. There is a way, however, of going about this process – choosing the right person to talk to and articulating your problem so that they can genuinely help. Here are some tips to get you started.

Choose a person who has a relatively open mind or experience with a similar situation. If a friend or family member has the tendency to tell you to just “get over it,” they may not be the best person to speak to. Sometimes getting over it is the answer, but that’s an answer most people arrive at by themselves after a series of trial and error. But when someone tells us to get over it, it makes us feel like our problems don’t deserve to be dealt with in a healthy manner. What you need is someone who will understand, and if not understand, at least have the ability to listen without judgement.

Choose a method of communication that is suitable to you. Usually a face-to-face conversation helps you convey things you can’t communicate verbally through your body language. It also allows you to assess the opposite person’s body language and understand whether they are actually absorbing what you are saying. On the other hand, for some people, the thought of a face-to-face conversation may make them squirm. In such a case, maybe discussing the problem over text or a phone call may help. The benefit of this is that it allows you to articulate your problem clearly with fewer chances of miscommunication. Rehearsing what you want to say before meeting face-to-face is also a good tactic to communicate clearly.

Don’t expect them to have an instant solution to your problem. A lot of people run at the sound or sight of other people’s problems. The very fact that someone has agreed to listen to you is big. Respect that and understand that they may not be able to offer a solution to your problem instantly or at all. They may just be able to listen and nod or “hmmm…” along until you find your own answers. On the other hand, some may be eager to give you advice, some of which may not be applicable or doable. But give them time to respond to your issues. They may need to think about it before they can offer solutions that will actually help.

Dealing with an issue and working up the courage to speak about it – more so to a friend or family member – can definitely be draining. But it also helps you realise you are not alone; at the very least, you have the support of well-meaning loved ones, even if they may not be able to help you in a concrete way. So keep an open mind and talk to a loved one and see the difference you feel.

And forget not what matters what you think about the situation, problem or solution. What matters at the end is wahat you think and feel....

 

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