Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good chit-chat, I can speak for England haha! But I definitely don't know how to talk. By talking I mean expressing my deepest thoughts, talking about what I'm going through, sharing issues that are worrying me with someone. If you ask me how I am, my automatic response will be 'I'm fine, you?'. Don't get me wrong, if I feel someone has offended me, I have no issues telling that person instantly, or once I have rationalised the situation, but generally I can be very closed, I'm EXTREMELY private. Probably another factor of being an only child I guess if we're following stereotypes...
Growing up I was always taught to keep my business private and I got accustomed to that. I'm sure many of us that grew up in UK African homes are very familiar with this instruction from our parents 'Don't talk about what happens in your house'. Flashback moment perhaps? I just took it a step further and applied it to my life in general...
So of course things get bottled up, they stay in me until I can no longer contain my emotions and they erupt in a way that can be less managed than if I had just talked to someone about what was bothering me earlier.This goes beyond having a shouting or crying fit, but it could lead to a nervous breakdown. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside can leave you feeling like a human pressure cooker, something I can easily do with a smile on my face, but only for a little while. So I'm learning how to talk for these reasons:
BOTTLING YOUR EMOTIONS CAN BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR HEALTH
Several studies have shown that suppressing your emotions could increase the risk of dying from heart disease. It is already commonly known that it has a huge effect on your blood pressure, and the most common results of suppressed emotions are anger, anxiety and depression which have all been linked to the development of heart disease. I'm still young and I have a lot planned for the future so I can't afford to have my life possibly cut short because I'm afraid to talk.
MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS AFFECT ONE IN FOUR OF US
Nervous breakdowns are not as farfetched or far removed from us as people may think. The more we bottle up our emotions, the more prone we are to having a nervous breakdown which could have a very severe effect on our mental health, so it is time to talk! Conversations can truly change lives. Just by talking to someone about what you are going through, you could find a resolution to that situation and feel better. As the popular saying goes 'a problem shared is a problem solved'.
BUT...MIND WHO YOU 'TALK' TO
Not everyone has your best interests at heart, that listening ear may just be there for them to fill up on gossip rather than them actually being concerned for your wellbeing. So when I say we should learn to talk, I definitely don't mean talk to EVERYONE. But at least be able to confide in one person close to you. If you feel can't trust anyone closest to you then you probably need to reassess your relationships...
So now I'm trying something new, the next time someone close to me asks me how I am, and I'm not fine, I will try not to say 'I'm fine'. I'll speak about what's on my mind, relieve some of the pressure of keeping it to myself and possibly get some clarity on the situation through talking about it.
This is a discussion and if you have any other tips on how to learn how to talk or if you've had any similar experiences, please leave a comment below.