On our podcast ‘Tales That Tethr’, tethr Founder & CEO Matt Zerker interviews entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and regular people about what is means to be a man, the challenges that modern men face, and how to overcome challenges and live life in a more connected and authentic way.
Mental health is not always the easiest topic to talk about. There is often a fear that is awoken in many of us when opening up and acknowledging we are struggling day to day. Taking it one step further and opening up to someone else can be a very scary thing. This is where we come in! Tethr has had the privilege to receive four tips from Dr. Kieran Kennedy on how to make these hard but very important conversations easier.
Here's what we've learned and need to share with all of you...
1. The Diffuser
A diffuser is something we can add to tough conversations to make opening up feel less confronting. If you or someone you love finds it tough to talk, try opening up on a drive, over the dishes, or on a jog. Having something to “do” in between can really help
2. Removing Pressure
It can sometimes feel like. A lot of pressure on both sides when it comes to talking about mental health but removing this is key. For the guy struggling there’s no need to have to have things figured out, summed up or neatly explained – it’s saying what you can, when. On the other side as a supporter, I often hear of fear of not knowing how to help or fix but just being there, listening, is actually what makes the biggest difference of all.
3. Chunk It Up
If it’s a three-hour D&M that’s great, but if a lot of mind-chat and emotion feels overwhelming then it can help to flag at the start that less can still be more. Many men find chunking conversations about mental health and struggles into shorter but more regular chats helpful. Check in, let a little out and then agree on when you’ll line up another
4. Solution Focused
For some people, describing what they’re exactly feeling and why can be tough. Particularly to start with this might be the case, and that’s ok. Talking about what might be able to shift and help in a more practical sense can be helpful here, and that might be as small as going to get some groceries so there’s some decent meals.