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