Support from friends; why talking about ‘it’ doesn’t always help

As a Rock you may have times when you want to talk about the challenges you experience and times when you just don’t.

When someone who understands that you are a Rock, asks you how you are you may find yourself giving a full blow by blow account and other times you just respond “oh I’m good, thank you for asking”, even if you’re not.

Why is this? Why when you perhaps arrange to meet someone for a coffee and a supportive chat later in the week, that when you get to it you want to cancel because you don’t want to talk about the challenges anymore?

We all need support. Sometimes though that support can be silently given, and you just need to know someone is there and has your back.

Let’s look at why we want to talk one minute and not the next. We will also touch on what support can look like from your friends.

Managing our own Mental State


Sometimes we just need to externalise how we feel and get it out! We need to talk to friends and share our challenges and perhaps benefit from a hug or empathy.

In these situations what are looking for is to be acknowledged, seen, validated we want to know we matter.

Often the validation we are looking for is to give us the comfort that we have the right to feel the way we are, that we are not unreasonable or unfair. There is a lot which goes on behind our need for validation and you can read more about that here.

The talking and sharing is a release, however it doesn’t often change the situation and yet we feel better about it. It’s the adage of

“a problem aired is a problem shared”

Not talking:

There are occasions though when sharing makes us feel worse. We are saying the same things, but the outcome is different.


If we keep talking about something, we are replaying it our minds and our emotions. Our minds don’t recognise the difference between reality and what is thought.

Research has shown that the same brain areas are triggered where one person is doing an activity and the other is visualising it. 

If we keep talking about the challenges we face, we keep putting ourselves through the same emotions as if we were living it, in that moment.

Sometimes we just must stop and give ourselves a break.

We want to get away from it and don’t want to have to relive that experience again, we just want to talk about something else so that we can protect our mental state.

It’s important to have times where you can escape and just be yourself without the burden of being a Rock.

Support from our Friends

What is important is that your friends understand that you may want to talk one minute and not the next. That they respect your wishes and are not offended if you cancel the coffee you had planned.

If you still go for the coffee and your friends asks how you are, you may find you feel bound to tell them and replay it all again, even though you know this is going to put you in an uncomfortable emotional and mental state.

If you still want to go for coffee but don’t want to talk, tell your friend up front that today you just want to talk about other things, have fun and laugh.

What friends can do:

  • Listen and respect your need to talk or not to talk
  • Help you laugh and escape your day to day pressures
  • Help you feel good about yourself; we all want compliments every now and then and it’s unlikely that as a Rock, these are coming from your loved one
  • Just be there; knowing someone is on the end of the phone come rain or shine is very powerful
  • Don’t judge: no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors
  • Acknowledge the difficulties you are experiencing and empathise if possible.
  • Give you a hug!

At the end of the day we all need support and on different days that can take different forms. So don’t be afraid to change plans if you feel the original ones don’t help you, or worse diminish the state you are in.

Your friend will understand.

It is good to talk and sometimes its good to talk about other things.

How do you balance talking to your friends and needing to get away from it all sometimes? We would love to hear your thoughts in our comments below.

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