Module 11: Opening Up to Others

Objectives

This module aims to help you:

  • Express your feelings

Talking to other people about your thoughts and feelings can be a daunting process. However it is a skill and much like any skill (tying your shoelace, driving a car) it is something that can be learnt and gets easier with practice.


Starting Point

Identify your confidence with the following skills (1 = I find it impossible; 2 = I find it hard; 3 = I am really confident).

I have a clear and detailed understanding of how to talk to people about how I feel. 1 2 3
I can share when I feel positive emotions e.g. happy, excited 1 2 3
I can share when I feel negative emotions e.g. anger, sadness, loneliness 1 2 3

If you have scored yourself 1 or 2 then this module will be particularly relevant for you. Even if you are very confident we would encourage you to check that you use all of the skills described, as everyone can improve their communication.


Why talk about my feelings?

Some people don’t see the benefits of talking about feelings. Let’s look at what happens if you don’t. Imagine you are carrying around a bottle.

In this bottle you put all your negative feelings.

Over years you fill it up until it becomes too full and explodes!

The negative feelings come out, often in an unhealthy way, either by strong emotions (commonly an angry outburst) or through harmful behaviours that help distract from the emotions such as alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex.

Think about your situation – is this relevant for you, does it help explain your online behaviour?

So how does talking help?

Imagine instead of filling your bottle you have a filing cabinet.

Instead of pushing all your feelings inside, you have a system to look at your feelings, think about them, discuss them and file them away, knowing where they are and how to access them at another time if you need to. Does that sound more manageable?

Ever heard the saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’? Often people find that an important part of dealing with (or filing) feelings is to share them with someone you can trust. This can be helpful to allow you reflect on how you feel and make your emotions feel more manageable.

An added advantage is that by sharing how you feel with someone this helps them feel closer to you and creates intimacy in your relationship.


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