When It’s Good To Talk

July 20, 2018

Last year a friend of mine set up a pod-club. It was a bit of an experiment for her and a project she was passionate about. The basic premise was to get a few mums together, we’d listen to a podcast and afterwards we’d chat about it. The podcasts were about self esteem, anxiety, negative thinking, goal setting and about general mental well being. She asked me and a few other ladies I know to join in and it would be fair to say I was a little nervous about the sessions and what would happen in them. In the end I was surprised by how much they helped me and even now, many months later I still think back to them.

Some of the women in the group I knew better then others but listening to the podcasts brought up conversations that were much more honest and open that I’ve had with most people, even close friends. How often when you have quick meet up with someone do you just gloss over your own life and what’s been happening? It’s very rare to find the time to actually sit down and talk about what’s really going on underneath all the superficial stuff. I don’t think we even realise that sometimes that is what we need the most!

The biggest thing that came out of the sessions for me was the preconceptions we all had about each other. I sat down with these other women who I thought they were all fairly confident, happy, organised, life all sorted and I discovered they thought the same about me. It’s funny to think that what you put out there is often quite different to how you’re feeling.

I’ve known some of these ladies for years and yet only in these discussions did I open up about the things I carry with me. I know I’m a private person and I find it hard to share how I’m truly feeling, I don’t know where it comes from. Maybe I don’t like the loss of control or the vulnerability. However, I can say talking these things through, realising others are just the same, definitely helped me. I found that though certain events and circumstances may be different to someone else’s the feelings are still the same. To be able to sit around a table with other women just like you and discuss your past and your worries, your insecurities and your dreams is a wonderful thing.

It was only when we had these conversations that I realised that it doesn’t matter what kind of life we have, we all have our own insecurities and hang ups and so many of my own anxieties were the same as theirs. We had a long discussion about being labelled as shy at school and so many of us admitted to being painfully quiet. I’ve had people ask me now when I stopped being shy and I laugh because in my head I still am; it’s something I’ve always been conscious of. I’m still not good talking in front of large groups of people, even if they’re friends or family but as I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely made an effort to be more chatty, mostly so I don’t come off as rude! So many of the group said the same and I guess that we often see the best in others. We see how they are and think, ‘oh I wish I could be like that, I wish I was that confident’ when actually it’s something that that person has worked hard to overcome and put out there. Everyone of us could list the brilliant things we see in the other women and yet it was so hard to say the same things about ourselves. 

I’m glad I went to do it when I very nearly gave an excuse not to go. I’m glad that I feel like I know and understand these women better now. I’m glad I talked about the things I often keep bottled up. It can be a scary thing to admit the things that you find difficult but when you realise that others are just the same there is an amazing comfort to be found. I really feel like it cleared out some negative things I was hanging onto and has given me space to believe in myself a little bit more. Since the pod-club I think we’ve all been much more open when we’ve met up, there is less superficial chat and more questions about how things really are. I’m sure that can only be a good thing. 


If you are interested the podcasts we listened to are by Maximum Edge they can be found on iTunes and Podbean

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  • Katy Mutch

    I love this Hayley. The pod-club is such a good idea too! Sounds like a perfect place for allowing yourself to be vulnerable and creating connections, something I definitely think we need more of. Found myself nodding to everything you wrote 🙂

    July 20, 2018 at 12:49 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thanks so much Katy, I really wanted to write about it as I got so much out of it. I think it’s something anyone could recreate too with a group of friends, a great way to give people a chance to talk and have a confidence boost!

      July 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm Reply
  • Kathryn

    What a brilliant post – and fantastic idea! It is so important to talk and find a starting point to help that happen sometimes.

    July 20, 2018 at 4:08 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thank you Kat, I think it can be so hard to open up to others but this was a great way to do it and very useful for us all!

      July 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm Reply
  • welliesontheschoolrun

    Love this Hayley. You’re right, chats with friends or acquaintances can be superficial – it’s easier to talk about the weather than the nitty gritty of how things really are. One of the things I like about blogging is that it can prompt conversations about things I wouldn’t naturally bring up in chit chat. Afterwards you usually find out lots of other people have the same/problem/worry/issue as you too. The pod club sounds like a great idea and I’m glad you got so much out of it. I was painfully shy at school aswell. xx

    July 20, 2018 at 8:01 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thanks Gail! You’re right I’ve never thought about that with blogging before, you do open up more as it starts different conversations. The pod club was so good, I really didn’t expect to get so much from it and I know a lot of the other women said the same. I think it was good as we were all mums with similar age children so had a lot we could relate to but would work well with any group really. It’s funny as we were talking about how when you’re labelled as shy when you’re younger you carry it with you even when you’re grown up, I was awful in school but I did Drama in highschool and that really helped but I still think of myself as quite a shy person even when others don’t see it xx

      July 20, 2018 at 8:55 pm Reply
  • Notmyyearoff

    It sounds like such a brilliant group and I think we could all benefit from something like this. I can imagine it must be a bit of a relief for others to admit they’re going through the same thing. I suffer from anxiety sometimes and I get really annoyed at myself when it strikes. I’ve never thought you were shy. You always come across so chatty and bubbly that I don’t think I’ve ever seen your nerves or anxiety, just you!

    July 20, 2018 at 9:03 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      I think my friend who ran it wants to continue it with others, we were just her guinea pigs! It is such a good help for women to open up. I would never have thought you had anxiety but I thought the same about others in our group and everyone has a hang up about something! I’ve had so many people tell me I’m really chatty now and I think it’s just that I overcompensate for my awful shyness when I was younger, I’m sure people used to think I was quite rude as I never spoke so I always try to chat now! It’s been a great way to open the discussion in a place were we all felt happy to talk about it!

      July 21, 2018 at 8:23 am Reply
  • Angela Webster

    This is such a fantastic idea and it sounds like you got so much out of it. I used to be a very private person and still am to some extents but blogging has definitely helped me to open up a little. Sometimes I think people hold back in conversations because they don’t want to burden others with their problems or worries, a group like this takes that away which is a really good thing x

    July 21, 2018 at 8:09 am Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      You are exactly right Angela! We think it’s going to be a burden to others but I’ve tried to look at it that I know I would want to hear it from my own friends if they were struggling so I’m trying to be more open overall. It’s hard when you’re already quite private, even in a safe group like this it took me a while to open up. I like that blogging has helped you, like Gail said above it opens up conversations you wouldn’t necessarily have face to face xx

      July 21, 2018 at 8:27 am Reply
  • Lieve Geysen

    What a great post and what a fantastic idea of your friend. I am much older than you, but I can relate very well to all of this and I know I could benefit from a group like yours. I really admire you, being so young and wise. And I can’t imagine anyone ever finding you rude, you look like such a lovely person, with such a friendly smile!

    July 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Thank you, what a lovely thing to say! I’m not sure I am wise but I think I’ve become quite reflective recently. I’m lucky to have this group of friends that feel similarly and I think we all have a similar outlook of life which helps. I can imagine this group would be good for any group of friends, regardless of age or background it always helps to open up and feel supported! I ended up talking about things that I wouldn’t have ordinarily started a conversation about. I feel like so many people would really benefit from something like this or even if you just open a deeper conversation with a friend, it all helps I’m sure!

      July 22, 2018 at 4:18 pm Reply
  • coffeeworksleep

    I love this idea! Anything that gets people going below the surface of superficiality is a huge plus for me. x

    July 23, 2018 at 10:16 am Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      It’s been so helpful for me and the other women in the group too, probably not too dissimilar to what you’re going with CWS creatives Morgana! xx

      August 4, 2018 at 10:19 pm Reply
  • Suzanne

    I love the sound of these podcasts Hayley and also that you’re listening to them as a group – it’s all very well listening on your own but dissecting what you’ve heard and working out how to apply it is definitely best done with others. I think you get more out of it. I belong to a group like this and find it invaluable. xx

    July 25, 2018 at 12:16 pm Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      Yes, I think talking them through afterwards has really made the difference and the things we’ve discussed have stuck in my head for more! I’m glad you have a group like this too, I think it would make a massive difference to so many women I know. I didn’t realised how much I needed it until I did this! xx

      August 4, 2018 at 10:20 pm Reply
  • Chloe: Picture Taker Memory Maker

    I work as a therapist so I know all to well the importance of sharing what’s underneath the surface. It takes practice, but with the right person/people listening (and I mean REALLY listening) it can be the difference that makes the difference. I’m so glad you stepped beyond your comfort zone and went along to the group – it sounds like it’s had a really positive impact on you.

    July 26, 2018 at 6:03 am Reply
    • hayleyfromhome

      That’s really interesting Chloe, it’s lovely to hear your perspective on it as a therapist. I must admit I’m so private that it took me a while to open up but I shared some things I never thought I would and I felt so much better for it, having people around me willing to listen and engage made a massive difference!

      August 4, 2018 at 10:22 pm Reply

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