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Talking it Over With Loved Ones

By: Janie Franz - Updated: 29 Mar 2012 | comments*Discuss
Distress feelings honest i Statements

Trying to cope with stress alone can often be too much for anyone to bear. You need to talk to somebody who understands you and can help you. Those closest to you are the ones you turn to when you are in distress. You can make the most of those moments talking it over with your loved ones by heeding the following tips.

Choosing the Loved One

Finding the right person to talk to is important. Your spouse or partner cares about you and should be the first you could turn to. However if that person is the source of your stress, then you should find someone else (a parent, a sibling, a close friend) to talk to. Once you get your feelings out and you have plans or tools to use, you can approach your spouse or partner, asking for what you need. In most cases, though, your caring spouse will listen and help you work through your feelings.

Be Honest

Give your loved one a clear idea of what stresses you are experiencing. Don't blame or act as if you can handle everything. You are in distress, and you need to tell someone. If you are unsure of the source of your stress or what exactly is worrying you, start talking. Sometimes, just the act of trying to explain yourself in words helps you clarify what you are going through.

Talk about Feelings

The old self-help mantra, "Use 'I' statements," actually is valid here. Talk about your feelings by saying, "I feel....." This helps you focus on some of the emotional and even physical responses to the stress in your life.

Many men, and some women, immediately want to offer solutions and concrete ways to help. They see you in pain and want to fix things. Some people feel frustrated when this happens because they aren't at that emotional point where they can accept advice. They want to process what they are feeling first. They want to just talk about it. If this is your circumstance, make sure your loved one understands that you just want to talk and will ask for advice when you are ready. You need to be listened to lovingly, without judgement, and with understanding.

Ask for Help

Don't be afraid to ask for what you need if you know what it is. Perhaps, you need your spouse or other loved one to watch your children for an evening so that you can go to a yoga class or just to have a couple of hours of quiet time to yourself. Maybe, you need someone to help you get to work without rushing, or you want help with coping with a boss who keeps asking you to work late. Ask for what you need as clearly as you can. This will help your loved one understand what you need and be better able to deliver it.

Remember allowing someone to help you is like graciously accepting a gift. By doing so, you honour the person who is giving to you and valuing the gift.

Talking to a loved one can help you understand your feelings about your stress. It can also give you options to cope, that you may never have thought of. In addition, talking it over can bring you and your loved one closer together because now you both understand what is happening to you.

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