How to talk to someone

Talking to someone about how you feel can seem like a difficult (perhaps impossible) task, but it doesn’t need to be. Whether you are looking to talk to a friend or a professional, here are some steps for talking to someone, broken down into achievable tasks.

  • 1

    Decide who you want to speak to

    Are you hoping to talk to a friend or family member? If so, choose someone you feel will be patient and understanding of your feelings. If you are looking to speak to an organisation or doctor, carry out some research into what your options are. Are there any charities locally to you that offer mental health services? Is there a doctor who specialises in mental health at your local practice?

  • 2

    Write down a list of questions you want to ask

    Putting pen to paper and writing down some things you want to get off your chest, or questions you want to ask, can be incredibly helpful. In the moment, it’s easy to forget what you wanted to say, or lose your train of thought. Having important notes written down in front of you will make it easier for you to say the things you want to say. If you are worried about pulling out of piece of paper, why not write your notes into your phone instead?

  • 3

    Arrange an appointment

    If you are meeting a friend of family member, pick a place you will feel comfortable and ask them to meet. Perhaps you would feel most comfortable within your own home, or maybe a coffee shop would feel like a safe space for the conversation – whatever feels most comfortable to you, ask that they meet you there. If you are booking an appointment with an organisation or doctor, try to arrange an appointment for a time that suits you. For example, if your anxiety tends to be worst in the mornings, don’t book a morning appointment. If you know that Mondays are difficult for you, don’t book a Monday appointment.

  • 4

    Walk to the door

    On the day of your meeting, it’s likely you will be feeling apprehensive. Getting to your appointment or meeting can feel like a mammoth task, so instead set yourself a goal to get out of bed and get dressed. Once you’ve achieved that, set yourself the task of having breakfast. Next, travel to your destination. Finally, arrive at the door. At each stage, only think of your next goal and nothing beyond that. You’ll find that by the time you get to the door, each little task has been manageable.

  • 5

    30 seconds of bravery

    Walking through the door and sitting with the person you are meeting requires just 30 seconds of bravery. Perhaps you feel like you can’t walk in that door, but you know deep down that once you’re in there you’ll be fine. Well, 30 seconds of pure bravery is enough time for you to walk in that door and sit down or walk in the door and say hi to a receptionist - 30 seconds is all you need, and you can do that!