How to Talk About Problems: Children and Young People

I’m going to be sharing with you how to talk about your problems and I will also be giving you some strategies to make you feel more comfortable about talking about your problems and getting it off your chest without feeling embarrassed about it.

When it comes to sharing stuff and saying ‘help, I have a problem’ it’s easier to do with people that you’re close to like family, not always, but you know sometimes it’s easier with the people that really know us very well and then someone might say ‘hey, I think you should get some help you should go see a counsellor, you should go see an NLP4Kids practitioner and then the prospect of talking to someone that you don’t know is just a different animal. You’ve got to be able to open up and express the issues that you’re experiencing because even if they only exist in your head a really useful way to get them out of your head completely and forever is to talk about them and express them and it just gives you an opportunity to put them into just a slightly different framing real life zone where you can examine them and go oh it’s not as bad as I thought!

When I work with people who have more challenging issues those issues very often have come about because the problem started small and they didn’t talk about it and over time it’s grown and accumulated and got much worse. Most big problems don’t start out big they start out as little problems and when you get to talk about them and get them off your chest and you know share them with someone that cares about you but can really help you to be able to think about them in a different way they just kind of sort themselves out and disappear. The problem is when you don’t do that and when you keep it locked away and don’t mention it and try and keep it under wraps that’s when it can start to become a real issue so having this skill of talking about the problems that you’ve got is super important.

Tip number one is going to be if you feel very uncomfortable about the idea of talking about your problems don’t worry about getting into all of the details around how you feel and how it’s affecting you on the inside, just start with the facts.

The facts might be when this happens I end up reacting in this way or this thing causes a problem for me I don’t like this about my life, I don’t like this about myself – just keep it really factual. You don’t have to go diving straight in to revealing all of the emotions that you have going on behind the scenes in that problem. If you feel that having shared details about what the issue is hasn’t led to someone taking you seriously or taking enough action then you might need to reveal a little bit more or at least express with more emphasis this really is a problem for me and I think I need some help.

if you need a little bit of a re-frame around sharing personal stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable then spend a little bit of time on youtube looking up people’s embarrassing stories because loads of people have been very brave and posted on youtube about their most embarrassing stories and you can almost guarantee that whatever it is that you need to talk about isn’t going to be as bad as their embarrassing stories and they lived to tell the tale. They survived their most embarrassing moments so if they can tell you, you can too.

The sense of ‘I better not open up in case all of these emotions come flooding out and I don’t have control over them’ that’s not something that you need to worry about listen there’s a chance that when you open up all of the emotions come flooding out that’s probably because they need releasing and it will feel a whole lot better having released them than it does trying to hold it all in and keep it all together. You will feel better on the other side of it the most important thing is that providing you’ve chosen a practitioner, a therapist, a counsellor, a mentor or someone that you are communicating with that you like and that you trust then they are going to be able to manage this situation well. They’re not going to get freaked out by the fact that you’ve said some stuff that made you uncomfortable part of the role of a therapist is that we get to hold your emotions for you so that you have a safe space to kind of unload all of that emotional baggage that you have and we are very resilient towards hearing that stuff and being in the emotion with you whilst you’re expressing it and helping you through it and to see it from a different perspective. After you’ve gone, we dispose of it in the right way. 

I hope that those have been useful things for you and if you’re someone that really feels like you would benefit from some therapy, coaching, counseling or mentoring or other kinds of interventioning then don’t hold yourself back from doing that because the chances are that you have a perception of your problem being bigger and scarier than it actually really is! 

Don’t hold back from reaching out and getting the support that you need and from being brave and opening up and communicating about the problems that you’ve got!

By Gemma Bailey

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