Getting out of your head.

How do you tell someone to get out of their head, when it’s one of the things you struggle with most?

This is what I try to answer, as I try and help M learn to get out of his own head.

I realize more and more that he is a worrier. Like whoa. Like, he gives me a run for my money in the worrying and overthinking department.

I was pretty honest with him this weekend about how he bottles up his worry and frustrations and it ends up affecting his mood, whether he realizes it or not. I told him that he has got to find a way to get out of his head, or to at least get out what is bothering him so he can stop worrying. For me, that’s called venting. Or blogging. For others, it’s very different.I told him that he needs to decide what works for him, but it’s something that will ultimately free him from the worries that fester and become larger than life when they can sometimes just as easily be snuffed out by simply talking about it, or blogging about it, or seeking advice from someone he trusts.

I told him that this person doesn’t have to be me. Of course, I’d love it to be, but it doesn’t have to be. I don’t expect it to be (at least not right now). I just want him to find a way to wrangle through whatever fears, worries, frustrations and expectations that flit through his brain on an ongoing basis. I can almost literally see the thoughts whizzing through his eyes when he gets into a mode.

He needs to find a way to work through it.

I can’t do it for him.

(even if I want to try!)

I am trying to be patient, I am trying to coax him into opening up a little bit more when he does seem open to it (other times, he gets as vague as possible when I start asking what’s bothering him…and that’s when I know to back off. He of course always tells me it has nothing to do with me, which at least eases *my* overthinking!) and when we do talk about what’s on his mind, I actually am able to help, and I think it surprises him a little. He’s just not used to it. It happened just last night. When he mentioned he gets into a mode where he’s isn’t as passionate about work or school and just wants life not to be so hectic. And I just want him to know that everyone goes through those phases. It’s normal. It doesn’t mean he’s any less of a man or any less good at what he does.

When we do get into these conversations, I realize even more what high expectations he sets for himself. And it makes me love him even more for it (even if he is mentally beating himself up for not being even more than that).

I’m trying to help him get out of his head…without forcing, without telling him to blog it out (though I did suggest a private blog, separate from his work blog and he is considering that. I of course think he’d be great at it and it might be the outlet he needs), without constantly asking him what’s wrong, or what’s on his mind. It’s slowly starting to work…but the key word is: slowly. I just think he’d free himself of so much angst that he doesn’t need, so much unfounded worry and stress. Maybe he’ll see it as he does talk about it more, or blog about it more, or whatever he chooses. I know it worked last night. I know he felt better. This morning he told me again how much it helped.

Little rocks.

He’s getting there. We’re getting there. I’m learning too. (and maybe need to take my own advice more often too, huh?)

πŸ˜‰

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22 thoughts on “Getting out of your head.

  1. i think this is true for most men. My husband does it too. I have to pull it out of him. I think having other men in their lives that they can relate to is key, but again, it is all up to them. We want to be there and help yet its not in our control. ugh, sigh.

    1. I think you are right. I just have never seen anyone internalize quite as much as he does. And some of it, yeah, he can’t tell me for HIPAA reasons, but he can open up…I hope he does, even if it’s not to me, ya know? Everyone needs to vent!

  2. So interesting just how introspective M can be. you wouldn’t know it outright, but I can sense when he’s in “thinking” mode when we hang out (not that it happens often when we’re together), he gets a little bit quieter which isn’t like him. I’m sure part of it is that he’s never had an outlet (you or any outlet for that matter) to share that stuff with and now that he has that, he’s not quite sure how to use it to his advantage. Just keep doing what your doing, he’ll come to you when he can and is ready. And other times, he’ll either learn to let it go more or he’ll talk to a friend, or maybe start a private blog. All are good options for him. But the fact that he has such a caring girlfriend, definitely doesn’t hurt.

    1. See, it is relatively obvious when he is, isn’t it? Introspective, that is. But maybe cuz you know him more now…or the fact that we spent the entire weekend together πŸ˜‰ But yes, I am going to just do what I can to help him and be there to listen when he wants, and go from there.

  3. ugh, it’s rough to watch someone go through it, especially when you know full well a) exactly what it feels like and b) how awful it is. hopefully he finds his outlet soon…

    1. It is hard being a bystander to it all, absolutely. I think he will find his outlet, and even just now, as we talked on the phone, he was more open. Weird how that happens sometimes?

  4. I know this all reads like a really big struggle. But I am seeing it as a huge positive for you. I’m impressed at how open and honest YOU are being with him. I hope it rubs off on him so he can do the same. If I ever get into a relationship again, I’m going to know so much about doing it right just from reading your blog. πŸ™‚

    1. Ya know? You are right…being honest and not glossing stuff over is huge for me, as it wasn’t something I did in previous relationship/marriage. And that is such a huge compliment…thank you!!

  5. Well, when I get too introspective, I don’t want to be around or talk to ANYBODY. My blog served me well for that purpose. What I’m finding works just as well, however? Telling the people who are actually pissing me off that THEY’RE PISSING ME OFF.

    But he prob can’t do that at work, huh? πŸ˜‰

    Glad that you’re there for him. And kudos for allowing him to find someone else to vent to… should he need it. That’s a lucky man, right there.

    1. I guess you are right…when you (the proverbial you, not YOU!) get introspective or really into a certain thought, you don’t want to talk about it all the time. I guess I struggle with that because I just want to help. And I know his tendency is to thinkthinkthink until it festers and becomes larger than life. I hope he finds his outlet…even if it’s not me (hard to say it, but I am going to encourage it because I know whatever he chooses, it’ll help!) πŸ™‚

  6. My best friend does this. I try to be there for her as much as possible, but there are so many times when I actually can’t help her, because what she worries about is far beyond her control. Today, I ended up telling her, it’s always the things you’re not prepared for that throw us for the biggest loop. Might as well just focus on what’s in front of us. But your advice is much less cynical!

    1. Thanks for visiting! And that is a great point too. Sometimes he does worry about stuff that he can’t control and that is really hard not to become such worry and such anxiety.

  7. I think I have to take my own advice almost daily. LOL

    And I love blogging for a way to vent and get out certain things. I’m trying to remember what I used to do for that. Haha! I hope he finds a way to release the stress, worry, etc. πŸ™‚

    1. Haha! Take your own advice…I need to do that more too. I also wonder what the heck I did before I blogged to get stuff out! Funny.

  8. I think it’s important to let your partner own their feelings and not take it personally, but equally important to encourage them to grow emotionally (express their feelings, etc.). It sounds like you have a perfect balance here…you just have to let M catch up. πŸ˜‰ So glad that you have such a strong relationship and that all you’re worried about is helping him and making it even better!

    1. Aw thank you friend! It is a healthy balance, and I think he’s finally getting there with it, slowly by surely. I am glad it’s the biggest worry we have right now too, that’s a good thing πŸ™‚

  9. Writers/bloggers are all guilty of that. We write because we have to get the thoughts out. And we’re horrible at taking our own advice.

  10. I thought I commented on this…but obviously not. Maybe I did in my brain…though that helps you all of…zero. πŸ™‚

    Guys are funny with “talking” about things. Honestly, when it comes to work, Tim lets it all out…all the time. I never really have to ask him to do so. Sometimes, he’ll say he doesn’t want to talk about it “right now” but eventually, he will. I’m his sounding board for what happens at work. And I take on that role without any hesitation.

    However, when it comes to “us” issues or things to talk about…TOTALLY different story. It takes a little more prodding to get it out of him.

    So, to each their own, I guess? It’s confusing. No one is the same. πŸ™‚

    You’re making good strides with M, though!

    1. So interesting…that he’ll talk about work stuff instantly but more prodding on the relationship stuff. M is the opposite. For him, talking about work feels like a burden he’s putting on others. I don’t see it that way at all. And I don’t need details, generics are fine, I just want to be that sounding board too. Slowly but surely, right? (and thank you for commenting…the other phantom comment didn’t come through hehe).

  11. It’s good that you’re there to offer your support and also to point out things that are making him unhappy. Sometimes we get so “in our own heads” that we don’t even realize how cranky we’re becoming.

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