Fibromyalgia Action UK
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How do you handle stressful situations?

I find emotional situations hard to deal with --- for example, arguments -- I get upset and burst into tears if someone speaks to me harshly and am totally incapable of sticking up for myself. Sometimes I will just walk away as the stress of the situation leaves me "lost for words" . I refuse to get involved because I know it will be me who "loses the battle" and comes away in floods of tears and an emotional wreck.

Sometimes I will just agree with people (even though I don't!!)just to avoid conflict -- which leaves me feeling "weak, feeble and inferior". As my OH says "I can't win an argument with a paper bag!!"

All my life I have been terrified of getting into trouble because I know it will make me feel dreadful. I know I can't change my personality, but any ideas how I can handle things better -- I guess some of this is due to the fibromyalgia making me feel less confident about myself. I will be grateful for any ideas xxx

6 Replies

Hi Phlebo,

This is a difficult one, because we all have to face confrontations at one time or another, it's part of life, and we can't always be in agreement with everyone.

I totally understand how you feel, because I am exactly the same.

There's the option of saying to someone "Well, we shall have to agree to disagree" That's a friendly means of saying that we're entitled to differing opinions, and it doesn't mean we have to fall out over it.

It's an easy way of starting the process by which we gradually become able to hold our own in a real argument!

I was lucky enough to have some CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), which for me was a revelation. I was able at last to feel that I had a right to my own thoughts, and a right to be heard.

If you have a friendly and co operative GP, you might ask if you can have a course of CBT. It actually does help a bit with pain management, so is worthwhile just for that , and I found that it changed my life for the better.

I still have problems - who doesn't - but I really have stopped feeling 'weak, feeble and inferior'. You have expressed exactly how I used to feel, so you obviously have a great gift of empathy - in itself showing that you have superior mental faculties!

I hope you can manage to request this for yourself, and I hope you are as delighted as I have been with the increase in personal strength!

Moffy x


i didnt realise that tearfulness is part of this fibro illness ,as i can cry at the drop of a hat and i never used to be like that,so thank you i have learned a bit more about this illness x millymoll


I was amazed to read on a good medical fibro symptoms site that people with fibro cry more easily even when happy as well as sad..... I can totally empathise with your feelings of not liking confrontation and if I spot a confrontation coming I do my best to avert it as moffy says by saying I have my opinion you have yours lets leave it at that , but I am quite laid back and not much worries or bothers me to the extent I would lose sleep over it or worry for ages. Part of this comes from having to speak out on behalf of my son who is autistic , so as I have had to be strong for him I find I am stronger and more assertive generally now....

VG x


I love a good cry - it lets out all the tension.

Never be ashamed of tearfulness, it shows humanity, and many politicians carry an onion in their pocket so that they can show empathy when necessary! :)

Don't mistake tender feelings for weakness, either - who wants to be hard-bitten and mean!

Moffy x


sometimes your the bigger person if you walk away


I can't offer any advice sorry, but I'm no good either with stress, one thing i know it makes pain worse and then I end up in a heap of tears. One thing though I'm not ashamed or embarrassed about crying. I know some can't handle it, but if its my way of dealing with things they just have to put up with it.

I do have to keep trying to tell myself not to take it all on as it end up making me feel life is n longer worth living, so having a good cry can be good. often its the only way i can get the words out. not sure, but may be people then listen, but of course this isn't alway going to be the case.

Like Moffy has said it lets out tension. I'm a softie anyway and i will cry at anything, happy or sad! But it does help. As long as you know your own mind and body and know how to 'come back down to earth afterwards'. its not always easy.

I guess we all deal with things different. I like to talk over my problems..often more than once to my OH's annoyance. He doesn't talk about his feelings as when he grew up he said 'he was never listened to anyway' so whats the point, but i do try to encourage it.

Another way of dealing with things is to set up a private Blog (Google Blogger is a good place) and make it private for you to be the only reader. That way you can write a diary as such and put down your emotions, even if it means saying what you feel about other people, as long as you are the only reader, it doesn't upset anyone else and writing it down does get it off your chest so to speak. xx


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