Advice for conversations?

Discussion in 'Strategies for Success' started by Evan1, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Evan1

    Evan1 Active Member

    How do you have a serious personal conversation with someone? Every time I try, I get uncomfortable, start being awkward, and change the subject, or just simply don't have the courage to do it. Even if its someone I'm close to, I don't like people seeing my weak side.
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I'd love to see replies to this as I have the same issue, I actually walk away, pretend I have something to do, can't handle it, never know what to say , talk about, get anxious, nervous, worried. Would like to hear how others cope with this too!
  3. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    Conversations are interactions between aa minimum of two people [unless you are me and then its only one, but thats another story for another time] You have to remember though, the conversation is about more than just words. There is body language, which we all display, like it or not, facial expression, which are very difficult to hide [but not online] and then there are the actual words. Then its about context, what does that frown mean, why are they standing like that, are you listening with intent or just hearing the words? Then there is subject matter, in this instance, serious personal conversation.

    Your brain takes in all this information and has to make judgements instantly, so you need to be constantly aware of what is going on. Its so easy to miss something that can easily lead to misunderstandings, which happens frequently.

    Do you need to try to put the other person at ease? Do you need to reassure them about discretion? Are you displaying you are at ease? Break it down and you can see what I am getting at. There is a huge amount of information we rely on just to hold a simple conversation. The way we interpret all this information will have great influence on the ebb and flow of the conversation. If you are not at ease talking about personal issues, how do you expect the other person to be at ease? Catch 22. Works both ways.

    Forums are great places to practice the art of communication in written form at least. You can express your innermost emotions though without all these distractions around you. Its just writing, so you can concentrate fully on what you are wanting to write. The more you practice, the easier it gets to talk about yourself. You can then start transfering some of that into the real world and again, the more you do it, the easier it will get.

    With all the various modes of communication we have now, and slowly we are forgetting how it is done, amazing really.
  4. Brittless

    Brittless Well-Known Member

    I'd love to see the responses, hence my reply. Forums and chat etc it is easy for me to an extent to seriously discuss my issues... but if it goes too far I have to leave quickly or stop. So you can imagine what it's like for me in real life. If I'm ever discussing something serious, it's the other person's life we're discussing. I can't discuss my own. I get too emotional. I think the key is to having balance and controlling your emotions but that's just conjecture at this point.

    If you're afraid of showing your weak side, I think you're just going to have to find someone you're unafraid of opening up to and take that leap even if you're mortified. Or test the waters a little with them. I've done that a little and it turned out okay.

  5. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I can relate because I am often very very reserved. Sometimes it is a good thing to sit back and observe/listen to others before joining in. We get to see how people "really respond" to others if we observe a little while. But I get it - what do we do to get into a conversation and contribute when we want to?

    I think conversations involve listening and speaking skills. Those are skills that can be learned, and we get better with practice.

    Many people think good conversationalists are good "talkers." First, they are good listeners and observers. They listen to what the other person is saying and they observe how engaged the person is in what is happening or being said around them. A good conversationalist then focusses on the other(s) and not on him/herself. They ask questions about what the others have said or what the others are interested in.

    For example,

    • Evan, nice to meet you! I love your cat avatar! Is that your cat? It's very cute!
    • Petal, good to see you here! I get nervous too, sometimes. What makes you feel less nervous in a conversation?
    • Hi, SinisterKid! Those are great observations. How did you ever glean all that information? Wow!
    • Hi, Brittles. Aren't forums great?! What kinds of things do you like to discuss on forums?
    And then practise these little techniques in non-threatening conversations (talking about the weather with people in your neighborhood, sports with people at work, assignments with people at school, the price of butter at the grocery store...) until we are used to doing it. And then maybe we won't be quite so anxious when we have to start or join a conversation that feels "more important" to us.

    Just my two cents and some starting ideas. :)
    Cicada 3301 and Petal like this.
  6. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    It can be very hard to have a serious conversation - especially when it is not "routine" for the parties. For example, if most of the time among friends you are just joking and having fun, then as soon as you try to talk serious there is a very strong urge for one or both parties to change it back to the joking/light hearted conversations you are used to out of habit. With kids and parents, particularly in a strained or difficult relationship, it is hard for one or both sides to not get defensive immediately if most "serious" conversations end up as arguments.

    To help avoid the sabotaging of having a serious conversation, start it by letting the others in the conversation know that you are serious, and pre-empt the defensive reaction by simply saying something like "I really just want to discuss and do not want to start a fight". It may be worth asking the other party if they are mentally up to having a serious conversation at the moment. Trying to have a real conversation while one of the participants is trying to finish cooking dinner or balance the checkbook is very apt to make something hard even harder. Just having everybody on the same page that you really do want to talk for real and establishing that all have the time to actually listen will help avoid the sabotaging if you try to stray- they will help get back to point by asking what you really wanted to talk about- and the disappointment of trying and having them announcing they "can't do this right now"- find out when they can and try then.
  7. Mike1

    Mike1 Member

    I see time and time again is that people with mental health problems are more intelligent than the average. That makes it hard for people to talk to you, not the other way around. When you have these serious conversations, try to put things in to perspective.

    Easier said than done, I know. I have one good friend and I didn't realise how much I'd upset him until I had a massive breakdown. Then he told me "not to leave him, and don't leave it so long next time". He offered to make me meals and drop them of me. People are far more understanding than you would expect.