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Talk Tools and Ideas for Opening Up

, I want to talk to you about

“This is not an easy thing to talk about but I am reaching out to you because you are a person that I trust and that makes me feel safe. I have been feeling a little worried about some things I have been experiencing and I am not sure what to do. I would like it if we could sit down together to help me sort through some of my questions and concerns. I hope together we can come up with some ideas and resources to direct a plan of action to try and help me to address the concerns I am having and set my mind at ease.”

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Tips on how to bring it up

It can be hard to share that you’re not feeling well, and even harder to ask for help. Societal pressure to perform and "be a certain" way may make it harder to reach out in fear of the way you will be perceived. Below are some tips that can help.

Asking for help is okay

Reaching out for help does not mean that you are weak.  It takes a lot of courage to talk about how you are feeling.  Once the initial awkwardness has subsided, opening up can make you feel both relieved and more empowered.  

Talk to someone you trust

It can feel hard to share that you’re not feeling well, and even harder to ask for help especially when you are young and dealing with social pressures.  Sometimes we feel we have to act or be a certain way which can make it more challenging  to reach out.  While the fear of how you will be perceived may be real, it is important not to let it get in the way.  If you can find someone you trust they will not judge you and can help calm those fears.

Prepare for bringing it up

It may be helpful to take a little time and prepare some basic information before you bring it up.  Sometimes writing down or recording your thoughts and feelings is helpful especially if you are feeling mentally foggy or disorganized.   You can also have a simple fact sheet printed out or pulled up on an electronic device that briefly explains what you think you are experiencing, especially if you tend to get nervous in the moment. 

How to ask an adult for help

Bring a support person

It is sometimes easier to bring a friend along that knows how you are feeling when you are trying to communicate a need for help from an important adult in your life.

Location matters

Try and find a quiet location during a time when you will not be distracted.

Adjust expectations

Sometimes conversations don’t go as we planned.  Be open to adjusting the flow of the discussion based on the needs of the recipient.

How to Ask for Help

It is normal to feel overwhelmed when reaching out to someone for help. Here are some tips.

Bring it up in a quiet space
Talk to someone you trust
Plan what you want to say
Set aside plenty of time
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