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Hello, lovely people of the world. I wanted to kind of backtrack a little bit and revisit the topic of communication skills. Near the end of that post, I mentioned that, when seeking advice for a certain situation, it’s best if we are completely honest with ourselves, and whoever it may be helping us.
Why is it so important to make sure every little detail we communicate comes out as pure truth? Surely we have all told a little white lie and ended up perfectly fine. Well let’s be real here, if you were to ask a doctor for advice about stomach problems, and your doctor asks all the necessary questions. But you decide to leave out the fact that you may have taken one too many pills to avoid going to a psych ward, you probably will receive treatment for something completely different that may make your condition worse. I know what you all may be thinking, did I really have to use that example? Yes, because I was that patient who lied about an overdose to avoid going to a mental hospital. They found out anyway, they did a drug test, but I was still given other medication because my doctor thought I had a severe stomach problem (not overdose related).
I recently had a few different people, on separate occasions, message me with a serious situation that was obviously made up. I totally comprehend the concept of HIPPA and other necessary reasons for confidentiality, but if every detail you give me is completely made up, I may give you advice for the information given to me. This is completely dangerous. That person may take that advice and apply it to their current and real situation, which could potentially escalate the situation and make matters worse.
Now keep in mind, weekly I join a meeting with professionals and as the rules of society changes with what is acceptable, we talk about how to appropriately handle these types of situations. In a few of my other posts, I mentioned this to expose the truth. There is a time and a place for when it is most appropriate to do this. Also remember I talked about how it’s not our job to condemn others. Take these two concepts and use them in moderation, and of course during the best suitable time. So during these meetings we discussed that if someone presents you with a complete lie, your goal isn’t to automatically accuse that person of fibbing. For one, we have no idea what that person’s motive was to lie. Secondly, we are still talking to human beings, we all have feelings. Automatically calling someone out on a lie makes him/her feel invalidated. This in turn makes the person shut down, and not want to reach out for help anymore. Some people kind of test the waters and lie until they are more comfortable with telling the truth. Sure some people find it hard to trust after that, then be honest with that person. Tell that person, “Hey I would love to help you, but I’m having a hard time with this situation. Maybe try reaching out to this person? He may be able to help you more with your particular situation.”
If you are not comfortable addressing a certain topic, but you want to help out your friends, simply communicate by saying, “Hey you know I’m always here to listen, but I don’t know much about this topic and I’m not comfortable giving advice that could possibly steer you the wrong way.”
When we tell the truth, it's one step in the right direction. By doing so we can receive the proper advice we may need, or give the correct resources needed to better whatever situation we are going through. Being honest can save lives. When I was honest with my doctors, I was given the correct treatment, and now here I am, I’m alive. I am able to share my do’s and don’ts to surviving mental illnesses.