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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CNU chapter.

Often times it is hard to understand how we feel. It is even harder to reach out to someone else for help. Communicating is a great way to establish a connection with someone and get emotional help for yourself. Communicating can be multiple things such as reaching out to a friend for help, sharing your feelings about certain things, or even confronting someone if you’re upset. All are completely real scenarios that are able to be solved with healthy communication. Let’s learn how to express yourself in a safe and healthy way:

Prepare Yourself

Before reaching out to the person you are trying to communicate with, it is good to try and steady yourself first. In order to express yourself correctly, you should make sure you’re in a good headspace to be talking with the person in question. If you’re upset, or angry, you may not get your point across to the other person, and instead the situation could spiral. Remember to take deep breaths and clear away all anxious thoughts.

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No expectations

The best way to go into any kind of situation is with no expectations. Expectations can cloud the mind, and put you back into that unwanted negative headspace. You should not have expectations for how you or the other person should feel or act. You should let what happens in the moment happen, and go from there. Let your emotions breathe and your words speak for themselves.

think over your words

Your word choice is incredibly important. When confronting someone, refrain from using direct or accusatory statements so that the other person won’t be as defensive. Remember to talk about how YOU feel and not exactly what they did. Another tip is to use emotions such as happy, sad, angry to simplify how you feel so they can understand. Make sure at the end of the day that you get your main points across so they can take that away from the conversation. Let them know how you really feel. And when the person replies, be sure to listen to them as well. It’s not an argument, it’s a discussion. An open dialogue with nothing to lose.

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try to be as open as possible

Make sure you say everything that you need, even if it is hard to talk about. You are communicating to them and they are listening. Never be afraid to really tell them what’s wrong. It may be hard, but it’s much better to talk about things than to let them fester. Pushing your feeling down can lead to resentment or deeper self-deprecation. It’s better to put those feelings out in the open rather than hiding them away forever. And you’ll feel much better afterwards!

Zoe is a Psychology major with a Writing minor. She enjoys learning about human development, especially when it comes to child development. Zoe loves writing in her free time and creating stories. She wants to eventually be a Child Therapist/Psychologist and write on the side.