‘Talking’ isn’t the only way to communicate. In fact, I think it’s very over-rated. It’s believed that much more than half of all communication is non-verbal; body language, gestures, facial expression and the written word are often more useful for communication than simple words which can be taken the wrong way or misunderstood. So, for Time To Talk day, I’ll be writing instead.


When I was younger, I never would have joined in with something like the Time To Talk day which encourages people to open up and communicate about mental health. I preferred to ignore my feelings when they got too difficult, or to pretend that everything was alright. I hid away from myself and from everyone else and hoped it would get better.

Now though, I realise how much I was missing out on by not sharing my thoughts and feelings. It’s not just about telling people how you feel when you’re struggling; it’s about sharing your interests, allowing others to get to know you a little, finding out about other people and making connections.

Since I’ve started writing about my experiences with selective mutism I’ve discovered that there are so many other people who feel the same as I do and who have been through similar situations. And they’re all interesting, funny, clever, and have their own story to tell.

So if you’re reading this and are thinking of joining in, please do. You don’t have to share your innermost secrets with the world, just do it in your own way. Here are a few suggestions on how you can join in:

  • Tell someone how you’re feeling in whatever way you can – by writing a note and leaving it somewhere it will be found, by writing a poem, playing a song, sending a text message or email, drawing a picture or with artwork.
  • Like and share posts on social media – Follow Time To Change for posts on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/timetochange and on Twitter @TimetoChange
  • Perhaps you’re feeling brave and want to share your own story about your experiences with SM? If you’d like to do this anonymously you can email your story to contact@findingourvoices.co.uk and I’ll be happy to post it on your behalf

Speaking is over-rated. So let’s show everyone how to really ‘talk’




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1 Comment

  1. The lovely thing about writing is that, for someone with (self diagnosed- is there another type?!) SM, you can take as much time as is necessary to fill in the blanks, revise words that would normally come out in a choked squeal, check the precise meanings of words or choose the most pleasing synonym.

    Funny how when I and my partner have a fall out, I dread the arrival of a torrent of words which I have no capability of replying to, yet she dreads the e-mail that follows her to work next day, in which I can explain my point of view- uninterrupted! Maybe that’s simply a man/ woman thing though!

    Even funnier how I, as a silver hair, am getting grumpy with people on the telly who are careless in their use of English, when I am often silent in case I slip up. Better to write a ‘Mr. Angry of Cheshire’ letter than bottle it all up!