Life coach and international speaker Wendy Capewell shares some advice on speaking out when we feel overwhelmed. She also talks about how not speaking out can impact our overall health and wellbeing
Some people find it really uncomfortable to say how they feel at the best of times, but it can be even more difficult when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Your thoughts can be jumbled or distorted and you tend to doubt yourself. You may also feel vulnerable and scared of being rejected. But by not speaking up – perhaps when you don’t agree with what someone has said – your silence can be perceived as agreement.
You might feel that if you speak up it will result in conflict, which is something you want to avoid – especially right now.
That might be okay in the short-term but, long-term, it can cause all kinds of problems which can eat away at you and leave you feeling as if your opinions don’t matter. This, in turn, can lead you to feeling worthless.
Here’s an example: a few months ago, a group of friends asked if you would be the designated driver on a night out. You agreed but now every time you go out with that group of friends, it’s assumed you will be the driver.
By not speaking up and letting them know you don’t always want to drive, you will be seen as easy-going and might find that you’re put on even more and taken for granted.
You might not want to speak up because you hate conflict but, by not speaking out, you feel resentful. If you internalise those feelings, they can eat away at you and you can feel worthless and, at the same time, worried about upsetting others and losing their friendship.
The danger is that you will start on a downward spiral – sinking into unhappiness that can turn into feeling depressed, believing that your opinion doesn’t matter and that you are worthless.
By learning to speak up, people will not only learn to listen to you, they will also respect you. It’s also important to speak up about your feelings of overwhelm before it becomes more serious. Tell someone you trust and ask them for help.
People often don’t ask for help because they think it’ll be seen as weakness, or they worry they’ll be rejected. But asking for help means you want to resolve the issues rather than continue to feel that way. In my experience, people like being asked for help.
Turn it around for a moment and ask yourself how it feels when one of your friends asks for your help. I’m sure you feel pleased they have asked you and want to help. This can also apply in other relationships!
Wendy offers many different online coaching services to people all over the UK and her book ‘From Surviving to Thriving in a Romantic Relationship’ is out now at Amazon.