Starting a conversation can sometimes be difficult, especially when it comes to how you really feel. You have been feeling down for a while because of something difficult that you have experienced, or because of stress at work or in your relationship. Or maybe you don’t know why you feel that way but you just know that you’re not doing well. You decide to do something about it and you go to a psychologist. Well done! But how do you talk about this with your environment?
Self-reflection as step 1
To start a conversation with someone else it is important to reflect on yourself first. More knowledge about how you are really doing ensures that you can convey better what you really want to say. Ask yourself how you’re doing: what do you feel? What moves you? Why do you need this conversation? What do these signals mean for you?
Find someone you trust
Choose someone from your circle that you trust and with whom you already feel comfortable. This can be your partner or a family member. But sometimes you also feel a connection with someone who is perhaps a little further away from you. A colleague or a gym buddy. You are in charge and you can choose with whom you share what!
Say what you think, feel, believe the way it is. You can and should show yourself. You don’t have to worry about the right words. In addition to verbal communication, we also communicate non-verbally. This must be consistent with each other. For example: You say that you don’t feel well, but then laugh it away – this can cause confusion or misunderstanding in the conversation.
Take space and time
It’s not easy to open up and be vulnerable. Allow yourself the time and space in the conversation. Indicate that it is difficult to share this. Not getting your words right? Share this as well: “I find it difficult to express myself correctly.” Do you not know how to proceed with your story? Explain that you need some time to organize your thoughts.
State what you expect from the other person
Now that you have an open conversation, it is also a good moment to indicate what you need from the other person. For example, you can ask for advice or help. But also indicate that you need someone to only listen to you. It could also be that you wanted to inform someone because you like it that he / she occasionally asks how you are doing, or want them to do something nice with you every once in a while or maybe you want them to join you to a session.
The first step has been taken
You have had a good conversation. Now the trick is to keep it up. You may find that now that you have opened up more, the other person dares to do this as well. This is usually nice, you feel more connected to the other. So try to talk to each other more often, keep each other informed. Just be as open and honest as possible.