Home » Ask the Therapist » Afraid of Talking to People About Issues of Myself

Afraid of Talking to People About Issues of Myself

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Hello, I have problems talking to people about issues or problems that I have. My family (parents and siblings) are the people I trust most in my life.
However, the prospect of talking to them about issues that arise in my life (such having the feelings of lacking direction in life, feeling like I have not ever achieved anything and will not achieve anything, as well as the issue I am now describing) makes me nervous and afraid, and thus I never follow through with it.

I don’t know why it makes me nervous: I know (also from previous experience) that I can trust them, talk to them. I do not fear consciously that they will judge me or something similar.
However, there seems to be a disconnect in this case between how I feel and what I know: I am not able to convince myself that it is OK for me to talk with the people I love and trust the most. I find this worrying because that does not leave anyone else to talk to.

This poses a problem for me, as it leaves me to worry about my problems all on my own, which has mostly only exacerbated the problems themselves and made me feel worse about them and myself. I would be glad to hear some thoughts on this.

Writing this has made me feel a bit better, as I normally do not speak about this to anyone. I guess the anonymity of the internet makes it a little better, although also here I had to fight my feelings to go through with posting this.

Thanks to the person who took the time to read this.

Afraid of Talking to People About Issues of Myself

Answered by on -


How you are feeling about the prospect of speaking to your family about your most personal issues is understanding. Of course, you love and trust them, but these are still personal matters. These types of issues are better served by speaking to a therapist. No one in your family is a trained therapist. They simply don’t know how to conduct therapy. That is not a criticism of your family; it is a fact. Therapists complete years of rigorous schooling in order to treat the type of problems you have described. Your family can be there for moral support and in all likelihood would be, but these matters are best suited for professionals.

It’s great that you have a supportive family. Having the love of your family gives you an important foundational base. Not everyone has that luxury. You are fortunate. It something to be thankful for.

You don’t have to keep this entirely a secret from your family. You can be general about what may be wrong and tell them that you are contemplating seeing a therapist. They do not need to know the details. You can simply tell them that you haven’t been feeling yourself or as good as you could feel and that you would like outside assistance. This would give you the benefit of sharing a little about what’s wrong without having to delve into the more personal aspects of the issue. Asked them for their support. Perhaps they may even know of a good therapist or other people who have utilized therapy. It’s a good opportunity for them to support you in your efforts.

You may also benefit from group therapy in addition to individual therapy. The benefits of group therapy include being able to talk to other people who understand what you’re going through, gaining a supportive network of people in your life, and gaining a diversity of ideas. Group therapy can also help you to see your problems in the proper perspective. It can be a relief to know that you are not alone in what you are experiencing.

Alternatively, not everyone prefers group therapy. Sometimes certain members can dominate a group not letting everyone get their fair share of speaking time. Not all support groups are run well which can take away from the quality of the experience. If you did choose group therapy, you’d want to ensure that there is a strong group leader and that others who have participated in the group have benefited from their experience.

If you did choose group therapy, it should be in addition to individual therapy. You might want to choose a therapist who is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Many of the issues that you’ve described could be effectively treated with CBT.

When choosing a therapist, I always recommend interviewing four or five over the phone. Choose the one you like and meet them in person. This is a good strategy for finding the right therapist for you. Thank you for writing. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Afraid of Talking to People About Issues of Myself

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). Afraid of Talking to People About Issues of Myself. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 7, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Nov 2019 (Originally: 16 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 13 Nov 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.