A Difficult Fear To Overcome: Talking To Others And Opening Up

by Rebecca Taylor

We all have different fears or triggers. For some, it’s heights or spiders. For others, it’s scary movies or the dark. But here, we explore the fear of talking to people. We all get told to open up and communicate but why is it so difficult for some of us? Gradually working on this fear is probably the best thing I have ever done.

I’ve always found it incredibly difficult to talk to people, let alone open up to them about different feelings and situations. So many people find it hard so if you are sat there thinking, ‘Gosh, I’m a bit like that’, then don’t worry… you’re not alone! Here’s why opening up is good for you.

1. Talking puts things into perspective

Being able to open up to someone and it could be literally anyone, means you get a different view on the situation which can really help. There are a few different views that help you see situations in a clearer way…

The helicopter view

This allows you to stop what you’re doing and take a step back to rationalise the different view points.

The outsider view

This focuses on how this would seem to someone else not involved emotionally in the situation.

The others view

This is what this would look like to others.

The self view

What am I reacting to and what does this situation mean to me?

Write this down and keep it with you so the next time you feel yourself getting worked up, you can take a look at it to remind yourself to take a step back. Remember, most of the things you’re worrying about won’t even happen. It’s anxiety that gets in the way and it can really twist and muddle things up.

2. You’ll feel more relieved and positive 

Talking to someone allows you to get whatever is bothering you off your chest. At first you may be thinking, ‘Should I tell them?’, ‘How will they react?’ or, ‘ Shall I just keep it  to myself?’, but again that’s anxiety being a nuisance and getting in the way. One of the best things is to just be able to tell someone. It also means you can put the things that are bothering you aside and focus on what’s important in that moment. Sometimes we’re trying to focus on work or time with friends or family but we’re too busy getting worked up thinking about other things which isn’t helpful.

Some people feel as if they’re complaining when they get things off their chest but the way to see it is you’re just getting rid of negative energy which everyone needs to do. It’s part of how we function, so don’t ever feel guilty for getting something off your chest.

3. You can share experiences and help others

It’s a wonderful thing when you’re able to share similarities and differences with people.  Although it can be extremely difficult, talking about experiences is the best way to overcome negative emotions and memories. Sharing differences and similarities doesn’t only help you emotionally overcome something, but it also gives you an insight into who you are. If you get the chance to talk to someone today, do it! Even if it’s sharing your day with each other, it’s nice to feel like you’re sharing a part of your positive/negatives experiences with someone else. Who knows? You might even make someone else feel comfortable enough to open up to you.

I still get days where I can’t even talk to a pet let alone a human, but the difference between then and now is huge. If you get days where you can’t talk to people much, that’s okay because every day is different and there’s no rule to say just how much you have to open up. Just be aware of your thoughts and rationalise them.

If you can’t talk to anyone there are many other helpful ways to express things instead of bottling it up.

This could include writing down exactly however you feel, creating or working on an arts and craft project, colouring, playing an instrument or singing – whatever feels right for you in that moment.

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