• Kirsti

Why talking is so important

Hi, how are you?

Most of us tend to answer the question “How are you?” in a set way. Mine is “I’m fine thanks, how are you?” (I always throw it back to them to see if they’re in the mood to talk, especially when I’m not).

I suppose this is really my stock work answer, but I find myself saying it to my friends and family too sometimes because I get into the habit of thinking that it’s just a throwaway question. But then I noticed that I can get a bit frustrated if I’m genuinely asking how my friend or family member is and they give me a throwaway answer (or worse, ignore it completely).

So how important is proper talking? Well, it can help you sort out your problems for a start. When you find yourself going round in circles in your head with a problem, have you ever noticed when you start explaining it to someone else you can suddenly find the solution. It’s like a lightbulb coming on in your head!

One of the ways that helps is because while you’re in your head, you already have all the assumptions that you’ve made about a situation. When you explain it to someone else, you have to say those assumptions to give it context. After you’ve explained it so that someone else can understand what’s going on, it makes you understand the whole situation a bit better and not just the bit you’re concentrating on the most.

Having some feedback can also be useful. When you ask for someone else’s opinion, they can give you ideas that you’d never have thought of yourself. For example, I know that if I ask for the opinion of someone who has no connection to the problem, they can give me a much more objective view on the situation. That can be really useful, especially if it’s an emotionally triggering situation.

It also helps with bonding and forging relationships with other people which is more important than ever at the moment. It’s really easy to get disconnected from other people when we can’t see them in person which can then snowball into a feeling of loneliness.

The best way to combat that is to get on the phone, arrange a Zoom (or other video chat), send a message to say hi and get reconnected again. Texting isn’t the same as a proper conversation and won’t induce the same feeling of connection but it’s a good start if you feel like you just want to get in touch.

Why don’t you test it out on Thursday 4 February which is Time To Talk Day from https://www.time-to-change.org.uk. It’s a day designed for people to talk about mental health problems so a great time to catch up with your loved ones and check in to see how you’re all doing.

It’s so important right now to talk about what’s going on and do remember that you aren’t alone. The last year has been a struggle for most of us at some point and I’ve certainly had a few wobbles! Talking to my friends and family help me refocus and remember what’s important.

So when someone next asks how you are, have a think about whether you are fine before you automatically answer with that 💖

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