When we’re going through a bit of a rough patch in life, it can be pretty daunting and scary. Dealing with emotions while handling all of life’s other aspects can be damn hard, so it’s often a stressful time.
Despite the changing attitudes of society, there still seems to be this taboo around actually asking for help that is completely awful. It’s that sort of unsure feeling you have when you are thinking about asking a friend, colleague, family member or psychiatrist for a little help – or even just for a chat.
So with this said, here a few subtle tips that will help you break that stigma down and have some good solid chats with your mates.
Just Aim To Organise A Catch Up First
Even though you may need to chat about some serious stuff, or things that are holding you down, just tee up a catch up with a friend first. Whether it’s coffee, dinner or maybe just a phone call, just set it up as a chance to meet with them. So when you are chatting, you can just bring up your questions or issues when you feel comfortable, and during the right moment of the conversation.
Keep it casual, and go from there. If you have a really tight relationship with a certain friend, you could potentially even mention it in a text (for example, “Hey Kat, you free for a coffee tomorrow morning? Keen to catch up, have been having some issues with Mike and just wanted to get your thoughts. xx”).
Be Candid And Honest
Try not to lack detail here. It’s absolutely fine to be feeling pretty average, but if you want to try and get some comfort or help from your mate, it’s important that you’re upfront and honest about what you’re dealing with. Of course it doesn’t have to be every gritty detail, but just be open with how you’re actually feeling so they can understand where you’re at and potentially what advice to give.
Some of our struggles can be tough to talk about, but your mates should understand that and have a caring shoulder for you to lean on. If you’re struggling with the workload at your job, tell them the specific reasons. Maybe you have a terrible manager? What’s keeping you back so late? Don’t just say work’s been tough. Keep it honest, let them know how you’ve been actually feeling and what’s been going through your head.
We all have different types of friends. Some are really big social butterflies, some are the quiet type and some are great listeners. So when you’re deciding who to talk to, be smart with your choices. You’ll likely have friends that you are really close too, but they might not be the greatest when it comes to listening or giving feedback.
Try picking out two or three friends in your head who you think would be good to have a chat to, and who might actually provide some of the help, closure or advice that you need.
Try To Set Goals Or Next Steps
Whatever it is that you’re struggling with, try and set some next steps when you chat to your friend/s. Maybe set a time for another catch up, or get your friend to check up on you in a few days/weeks depending on how you feel. It’s always good to have something to work towards, even if it’s a really small or simple task.
Maybe even brainstorm a little with your mate on positive next steps that may help you resolve any issues. Oh, and write them down physically or in your phone too.
Care About Them, Too
Your friends go through many of the same (and different) struggles that you do. So realise that they’re human just like you, and be empathetic to them as well. Ask open questions and while you may vent or want advice from them, it never hurts to check up on them, too.
Especially if they’re someone who you’d call a good friend, it’s always a good idea to be an instigator and check in on how they’ve been so you’re taking the initiative to see how they are first.
Are you struggling with something in your life and not really sure where to start? Well that’s completely normal and fine! Chat to your mates and check out headspace’s guide to connecting with others to see how you can sort out your troubles with comfort and ease. Remember – it’s always okay to talk to someone!