I hate small talks, and when I say ‘I hate it,’ what I really mean is I’m abysmal at it. Just a total failure. Say I find myself interacting with anybody known or unknown, any situation that calls for chit-chat for that matter, I struggle.
Emotions are a little harder to fix. But talking is an exclusive tool that everyone possesses. So why do we avoid it or believe it doesn’t work? Regardless of the reason, you might keep it in, talking has powerful psychological benefits that might not be obvious. ‘Talking about it’ is a broad phrase, though, so I will clarify a bit.
Trust a friend – vent out
Unplanned talking sometimes brings solutions. ‘I had the worst day at work!’ can be the start of a conversation to process the stress of a hard day. Communicate semantic content. Think of exchange as: ‘How’s it going?’ ‘Oh, pretty good!’ There’s not zero-semantic content, so presumably pretty good excludes: ‘Dying at this exact moment’, so that’s some information to primarily being at ease of any worries.
Talk therapy – counselling
Whether one feels a need to discuss a mental illness one is going through or not, there’s a reason people will pay money to talk through problems with a therapist to handle stress and hash out the emotions. So it is not a crime to seek a therapist to ease out the troubles and feel good.
At times, venting to somebody unacquainted to you can help not just you, but others as well. The act of sharing what daily life is like with struggles instils the ‘feel-good’ feeling. Improving the situation by figuring out things is certainly good, but just verbalising how you’re feeling can be a part of the solution as well.
Right people to talk – time crisis
Every individual has their own lives. Being courteous to your friends if they have the time and energy to let you unpack your emotional bags can help you release stress. This can help excluding all the bad habits (co-ruminating).
An endpoint to fix the mood
All conversations need not lead to a plan for a tangible change. Take a break if fixing things are getting difficult. Change paths to process a new way if talking seems to offer no gains. External problems may not be fixed but at least target to improve your mood about it.
Talk good and talk bad
Expressing how you’re feeling is healthy. Expressing yourself only when you feel bad isn’t. Although the process can still be messy – embarrassing or uncomfortable too – for the first few times, the more you open up, the easier it gets to share your feelings. Sometimes, talking about problems may just be complaining or may involve crying at times for an hour or so. Always share good as well as bad experiences. Additionally, it aids to build your relationships with the people you are close enough to talk to.
Fights happen in relationships. But there is always a constructive solution to the relationship which is a good thing, thus making the communication healthier as well.
Jashan Jot Kaur is a researcher at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.