The Importance of Talking Things Through

I spoke last year about the importance of talking things through during household disputes with your significant other (SO). It got me thinking about communication in general, and how effective talking with friends can be to help improve your mental health. Unloading all of your airs and worries in a discussion with your friends can serve as a very effective verbal catharsis.

I have never liked talking about my feelings. It’s something I’ve always found difficult to do, and I’ve only just started learning, as an adult, how much better it feels to let it all out. This is true of relationship problems, problems with work or uni, stress issues, family problems, health issues, and the wide world of other problems that exist.

I once read somewhere, possibly in a Cosmopolitan when I was a teenager, that you shouldn’t tell your friends when you’re having problems with your SO because then your friends will form a lower opinion of your partner. This is terrible advice, but for some reason it stuck with me. I used to think that my friends might form lower opinions of my boyfriend if I constantly told them about all of the minor issues that we face (see: the dishes debacle from an earlier blog post). I don’t want this to happen, obviously. I want my friends to get on well with my SO, but that shouldn’t mean that I refrain from talking to my friends about my feelings.

So, while I used to follow that advice and keep my complaints to myself, I no longer do. Talking about it, with my SO, with my friends, and with the readers of this blog, helps me feel better about it all. Because I realize, as I’m putting it down on paper, or putting it words, or putting it up on the blog, that I’m not being silly. When feelings are floating around in my head I sometimes convince myself that I’m being unreasonable, or that my problems are unsolvable. The mind does strange things. But when I let my feelings out, in whatever form, they start to make more sense and my problems seem less dramatic.

This is not just true of relationships, but any issues that I have. When I was feeling small the other week, writing about it helped me to stand tall again. Whether you’re talking online about your feelings, talking about them with friends in person, speaking with a counselor, or writing in your own personal journal, it helps.

While writing is useful, I personally find that verbal discussions with others are the best way to work through feelings and problems. The main reason for this is that your friends will listen, offer support, and give advice. For me, it’s usually good advice and, no matter what problems you’re having, it is an utter relief to hear someone say “Me too”. It reminds you that your feelings are valid and that you’re not alone.

  • If you don’t have someone to talk to at home or among your friends, there are people at the university who are here for you. What Messes with Your Head is a safe space to talk, so feel free to talk on here about whatever is bothering you. Or, the University’s Counselling Support services can be found on the ground floor of the Horace Lamb Building. You can also get in contact online or by phone. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourselves, which includes taking care of your mental health.

*Libby has now graduated from her degree and ventured off into the wild blue yonder, but she left us with a few last posts that we’ll be publishing over the next few months.


The What Messes with Your Head Blog is all about the student experiences. It’s written by students, for students!

What Messes with Your Head is not a counselling service. If you would like to make contact with a counsellor during business hours, please contact Counselling Support, and if you need after hours support, please call the University of Adelaide Crisis Support Line on 1300 167 654 or text 0488 884 197 (5pm to 9am weekdays; 24 hours weekends and public holidays).

For more resources related to student health and wellbeing, please visit our Wellbeing Hub website.

This blog has moved. New posts can be found in the Wellbeing Hub news.

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