I will say one of the most difficult things to do when you’re depressed is talk to others. And the anxiety that usually goes a long with depression does not help.
When I was going through the worst of my depression, I hardly talked to anyone. Literally, all I spoke to was my grandma, mom, and boyfriend. Isolation is a common symptom of depression.
Why is talking to people so hard when you are depressed?
For me, I did not have the energy to do much of anything, much less try to maintain the few friendships I had. And even if the energy was there, it was consumed by more important things, such as cleaning and work. Even if I was to strike up a conversation with someone, I did not know what to say. I just was not interested.
However, keeping healthy relationships is an important need everyone has. People are just meant to socialize. Without contact with other people, you’re mental health gradually deteriorates.
So how do you maintain friendships with people when you have no interest in doing so?
1. Make a list of things to talk about
What tended to happen when I tried to talk to people while severely depressed was a bit of small talk, then nothing. I would just ask how they were and the conversation soon ended after having nothing to talk about.
If this happens, make a few bullet points beforehand of things to talk about. And it helps if it’s something the two of you have a common interest in.
For example, my friend and I both enjoyed playing guitar. So every time I talked to her, I would bring up a few new songs I’d learned and ask if she learned any new ones.
Eventually, I was able to do this without the list and got a few nice conversations going.
2. Schedule a time to talk to people
When you’re feeling down, keeping a schedule really helps and this extends to relationships. Having a set hour of day that you talk to people ensures it gets done, and it prevents social burnout by having all your interactions happen at one time, rather than spread through out the day.
3. Meet in person when you can
When you don’t feel like talking, meet in person. You do not need to constantly talk to someone to connect with them.
If you really have nothing to say, just ask to hang out. And then, do something that interests you both. Watch T.V., play video games, anything.
When you’re depressed, sometimes you forget to interact with people. These are three things you can do to maintain relationships when you just don’t feel like doing it.
What prevents you from keeping relationships with people? Let me know in the comments below.