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URGENT: How do I approach my friend's dad TOMORROW? - March 20th 2014, 11:43 PM

I'm not sure how many of you saw my previous thread, but I've been having a lot of issues with my life. It's not something that's new, I've been going through a lot for the last six years in my life and I haven't really opened up to people before. It's going to be incredibly tough to explain what the last six years of my life have been like, but one of my best friend's dad is extremely approachable. I was talking to my friend last night about how bad things are getting and about how suicidal thoughts are starting to impact me. I shared with her how I'm starting to think about self-admitting into a mental health clinic of some sort.

She told me that her dad is one of the best people I can talk to. He's really approachable and completely understanding. I went over to her house today and her dad knows I want to talk to him. (my friend tried to explain a little bit of the situation to him, so all he knows is that I have a problem and need help.) However, when her dad asked me if I wanted to talk, I chickened out and told him I'll come over tomorrow and explain everything.

How do I sum everything up? I don't want to write a letter because I hate giving physical proof. I had a bad experience last time I wrote a letter/printed out a forum post. Is it a good idea to try doing that again? Or should I avoid giving hard proof of something that contains suicidal ideology?

Also, how do I approach my friends dad? I'm AWFUL at talking in person, I get very nervous, my palms sweat, my lips get all dry, and I just forget all that I want to say. I'm kind of embarrassed at how I turned down talking today but he totally understood.

Is approaching my friend's dad a good idea? If so, how should I go about it tomorrow?

Last edited by Paint; March 21st 2014 at 03:13 PM.
   
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Re: URGENT: How do I approach my friend's dad TOMORROW? - March 20th 2014, 11:57 PM

Hmmmm, first forum post but here goes nothing: In my opinion if you need someone to talk to and your friends dad is there for you go for it. These things can be awkward and bulky in the mind but as soon as you sit down and start talking things tend to flow out. If you are having trouble talking in person and you don't want physical evidence maybe make an anonymous email and send him an email? Of course he'll know who it is but there won't be that physical proof cause you can always say that it wasn't you. In honestly though face to face might be the best and it might help you get out some of those feelings that are really affecting you.

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Re: URGENT: How do I approach my friend's dad TOMORROW? - March 21st 2014, 12:13 AM

Hey there,

If you feel more comfortable with sitting down with her dad in person, you definitely can. If you think it would help you, you can even have your friend go with you and sit with you for some more support. You can even sort of plan out what you want to say before you say it. You can write out an outline that you can dispose of after basically summarizing the key points.

You can tell him the main ideas to start with, if that makes you feel the most comfortable. For example, one main idea may be suicidal thoughts, as well as other important things you want support on. From there, you can let him know that he can ask questions to sort of guide you to get out all of the information, if that makes it easier, or you can even tell your friend to give you a friendly nudge in the right direction if she thinks there's something you should cover but haven't.

If you feel as if you absolutely can't talk to him in person, you can always write the letter out but not give it to him until you know for sure that he will keep it private. I know that sometimes I have people shake on it, just to be certain. Or, you can write the letter, but then read the letter TO him, rather than giving it to him, so you can keep the letter.

I hope this helped!

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Re: URGENT: How do I approach my friend's dad TOMORROW? - March 21st 2014, 02:53 AM

Hey, Roma!

First off, you're incredibly brave and courageous for wanting to reach out. With all the issues you're dealing with, you definitely deserve someone to talk to and some support in your life. And opening up is a pretty big step towards recovery from the issues you're dealing with.

Your friend's dad sounds like a pretty good person to open up to since he seems really understanding and approachable as your friend said. If you feel comfortable with the idea, I definitely think you should open up to him. In my opinion, the best thing would be to sit down with him, make yourself comfortable and talk about the small issues that don't make you as nervous at first. This way you can establish general trust before working into the more serious issues. Hopefully by then, the conversation will flow naturally and it won't feel so scary.

I hope this goes well for you, you deserve the support and for someone to listen! Let us know how it goes if you feel comfortable with it? Good luck, stay strong.
   
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Re: URGENT: How do I approach my friend's dad TOMORROW? - March 21st 2014, 03:18 PM

Thank you so much for all your responses. I got a text from my friend saying that something came up and she has to go somewhere this evening but that I'm welcome to come to her house just to talk to her dad [we're neighbors, by the way]. She said that if I didn't feel comfortable with that, I'm free to come Sunday and talk to him while she's there. I don't know if I should just talk to her dad without her being there or not; what sounds like a better idea? I think I'd be more comfortable if she was there with me, for support, you know?

Secondly, I've decided I'll go with writing a letter and just asking if I could have it back at the end - or I'll just take a letter and read off of it. However, I'm really having a hard time composing what to say. I like Serena's advice of starting out with less severe things and then building my way up but I don't even know how to begin. It's not even the content of what I'm going to say that's scaring me, more than it's how to word it. When I walk in, what's the first thing I say? I'm thinking of something along the lines of, "thank you for agreeing to talk to me. I really appreciate it." But where do I go from there? What's the next sentence?

I got that far in yesterday, and then I made some excuse about how I have to go. So whenever I choose to talk to him, be it today or Sunday, how do I phrase my next sentence? I have a bad habit of beating around the bush rather than just diving into it. Especially when I'm nervous.

Lastly, I'm awful at eye contact, and just talking in general. My voice will shake and I just know it; I'm so scared and I just don't want to give anyone the wrong impression, you know?
   
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Re: URGENT: How do I approach my friend's dad TOMORROW? - March 21st 2014, 05:57 PM

Hey there

For how to start talking, my suggestion would be to make up a list of things that you'd want to talk about and then cross out those with which you wouldn't want to start. Hopefully this will help you to select an issue with which you can begin talking.

Since this is the first time you are going to open up to someone, I think that the most important thing would be to take a step forward and talk about at least one or two issues, no matter how trivial. It will help build trust like Serena mentioned and also when you walk out of her house, you will have a little sense of satisfaction that you managed to talk about a few things.

Talking can be scary as shit, so don't expect yourself to come out with everything at once, go easy on yourself and try to take little steps. Trying to cross the whole bridge at once will only overwhelm you. Take it easy, one step at a time and congratulate yourself on every single step forward that you take.

As for your voice shaking and eye contact, what usually helps me is that I request my counsellor if we can both look away from each other. I don't like it if she is looking at me and I just find something nice in the room to look at whilst talking. :P

To thank her dad, you can do something like take some muffins or anything else you find relevant. It might make the situation a little less tense for you and you know what they say, actions speak louder than words. If you like cooking, spending some time baking cookies or something before you go might also help you.

All the best!
Do keep us updated on how it goes. It is really great that you are trying to open up.

My PM is always open for you!



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Re: URGENT: How do I approach my friend's dad TOMORROW? - March 21st 2014, 08:23 PM

If you think you'd feel more comfortable with her there for support, then I definitely think you should wait. You're opening up about issues and such, and that's a really hard thing to do so it's important that you feel as comfortable as possible. As for the note idea, I think you should write a note and ask for it back when you get through, that's understandable.

When you walk in, you can tell him what you just said of course, "thanks for agreeing to talk to me, I appreciate it", then you can ask him how he is, talk about the weather, just small things and hopefully it'll help you to work into the conversation and feel more comfortable. Maybe it might help if you told him that you feel a bit nervous? This way he can try and make small talk at first too to help you ease into it.

I'm basically exactly the same as you! I get a shaky voice, I'm horrible at eye contact and I also tend to beat around the bush, as well as back out of conversations like you did the other day. I'm sorry you have issues with this as well! Eye contact is pretty nerve-wracking. This is just an idea, might be a rude one, but hey. How about asking her dad for something to drink, like water, for example while you're talking to him. This way you can tell him stuff without awkward eye contact, because he'll be getting you that glass of water. If not that, then maybe you could tell him you have issues with eye contact and that it makes you nervous, so maybe you could sit next to him and look at something nice in the room as the user above suggested!

Hope I helped a bit! Good luck.
   
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Re: URGENT: How do I approach my friend's dad TOMORROW? - March 22nd 2014, 09:57 PM

Thank you for all the responses! Tomorrow's the day guys, wish me luck!
   
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