I recently did a live video broadcast on communication. Looking at miscommunication and lack of communication, especially when we are struggling. If you missed it, you can catch up on the video at http://bit.ly/2PfeJZi
It got me thinking more about it all. When I had depression, I couldn’t communicate with others about how I was feeling. I never consciously thought about being judged or rejected. But I do remember thinking ‘no one cares anyway’.
I would reach out to people in different ways. But if they weren’t accepting my attempts, it would just reinforce the thought that no one cares. So was I trying to communicate my struggles? When I almost begged a friend to come walking every week, I was definitely mis-communicating. How could they know I desperately needed that break out of the house?
How let down I felt when it didn’t happen?
I never told them. So in this story, where does the responsibility lie? Was it my responsibility to disclose? Or their responsibility to recognise the change in my behaviour?
It’s a tough one to answer. In an ideal world, I would have asked for help and they would have definitely obliged. But we don’t live in an ideal world. I’ve been both sides. I’ve been the one hiding my struggles and I’ve been the one asking if all is OK. In both situations, I have made mistakes.
So here is what I’m suggesting. How about that those of us struggling let someone we trust know that we are not feeling great. We share that we could do with help, some space or support. We’ll ask for a text to check in every day, or a phonecall.
For those of us who have friends who have changed their behaviours, we ask if they are ok. No matter how slight that change is. Asking if they are genuinely OK – not the standard ‘I’m fine!’ response we know isn’t true. We let them know that we are here no matter how busy we seem. If you let us know, we will give it our best shot to help.
Let’a create a communicating community again.