‘What am I not being told?’

Kerry is feeling increasingly shut out of important discussions with family and friends. She has asked clinical psychologist and new YourLifeChoices regular Dr Emmanuella Murray for advice on how to tackle the problem.

Q. Kerry
How do I get my family and friends to tell me the truth about important issues? They may think that by not telling me things they are doing me a favour. Perhaps they think that because I have anxiety issues it will make things worse when, in actual fact, this increases the anxiety. How do I tell my family and friends to be upfront with me?

A: It can’t be easy feeling as if the people who love you the most are shutting you out. Communication is very important in any relationship, so I can see why you may be feeling the way you do.

You have just expressed so beautifully how you are feeling right now, so I want to encourage you to tell your family and friends how you are feeling. If we don’t let the people we love know how we feel, how can they know?

Perhaps you could say to your loved one something like this:

“Sounds like you’ve had a busy few days with all your work commitments. I’ve noticed that you haven’t been sharing as much with me lately and I’ve been feeling out of the loop. I love hearing all about what’s going on for you – the good, the bad and the ugly. I want to be there for you, just like you are for me.”

In other words, you give the person a very clear idea about how you’re feeling and why.

Anxiety can certainly play with our minds at times, and sometimes it can lead us to taking things personally. Maybe your family and friends don’t want to add to your stress or maybe they are busy and overwhelmed themselves. We won’t know until we ask.

So, Kerry, show your loved ones why they love you so much. Expressing how you feel only shows them even more how compassionate and loving you are. 

Dr Emmanuella Murray is a clinical psychologist who has been practising for more than 10 years. She works with children, adolescents, adults and couples and presents to professionals and community groups. Visit her website here.

If you have a question for Dr Emmanuella Murray, please send it to [email protected]


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