Telling Someone About an Embarrassing Issue
Telling someone about an embarrassing issue requires privacy, kindness and respect. If you can't manage all three then wait until you can find a more appropriate time and place for such a discussion. Whether you are discussing an issue you've noticed about another person, or an issue you're experiencing and would like the other person to know about, it won't be easy to have this talk. Pat yourself on the back for this undertaking, but don't put it off for too long because allowing yourself or others to live with embarrassing issues rather than find help and support does no one any good.
Telling Someone About An Embarrassing Issue You've NoticedTelling someone about an embarrassing issue you've noticed can be one of the most awkward social situations you can find yourself in. Often these issues have to do with someone's body, which makes the conversation that much more potentially painful. When you approach someone else about their embarrassing issue, be sure to frame the conversation out of love. Start by telling them that you have something serious to discuss and that you care about them too much to allow this situation to continue without talking about it. When it comes time to name the issue use more clinical, medical terms if possible. For example, instead of saying "You've got bad breath and I can't stand it", say "Halitosis happens to a lot of people, and I'm worried that you are living with a perfectly treatable condition". If possible, offer your assistance in tracking down a treatment or finding a diagnosis. Conversations in which you offer your love and support are much more tolerable to all involved than those in which one person essentially blames or shames another.
Deciding to Discuss Your Own Embarrassing IssueAs hard as it can be to discuss someone else's embarrassing issue, it can be harder to discuss embarrassing issues of your own. Very often people do not share their embarrassing issues because they are too ashamed to discuss their symptoms, and because they believe that they can soldier on with their secrets rather than burden others with them. Ask yourself, if a loved one had this condition would you be there to offer care and concern? If the answer is yes, then you owe this same care and concern to yourself!
Telling Someone About An Embarrassing Issue You're ExperiencingLet others know that you need to talk about your embarrassing issue because it has been affecting your life. Reassure them that you have sought help and treatment, but that there may be accommodations or extra flexibility you need because of your symptoms. If you need to ask them for specific help or understanding, now is the time. Don't be afraid to tell your loved ones that it was hard for you to share this information, and that you would appreciate if they would keep it to themselves as you will be telling others in your own time. You may not need to make such statements, but if you think you do then it's better to make them politely rather than wish you had.
Telling someone about an embarrassing issue is one of the hardest conversations you can have. Whether the embarrassing issue is theirs or yours, such conversations must be framed with care and concern. Work hard to keep these talks respectful and compassionate, and don't be afraid to explicitly state how you can help or what help you need. Those who truly care help others overcome or better live with embarrassing issues, and these conversations are a necessary first step.