Communication vs Compartmentalization

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Guest post contributed by Phil Halfpenny

All too often as men we are expected to ‘man up’. Sometimes this is good, sometimes this works, and sometimes this is healthy. Manning up is the right thing to do in so many situations of hardship and it builds character, which is important.

Occasionally however we man up and disassociate ourselves with our problem to an unhealthy level, we can all be guilty of this at times,

“You don’t want to be a bother”


“It’s not that big of a deal”


“It will go away if I ignore it”

We don’t talk about our problems. We compartmentalize, we hide away that specific issue, thought or feeling deep in our brain and we pretend it doesn’t matter. But you cannot compartmentalise forever, whatever the issue is, it will itch and irritate the back of your mind until one day you blow. It doesn’t even have to be something big, it can be tiny and insignificant but over time that seed will be allowed to grow out of proportion in your mind.

We talk about mental health more now than we used to as a society, but MENtal health can still be a difficult subject to approach for the male side of the species. What we don’t realise is that talking about our problems and communicating our issues really is the most effective way to overcome them and stop them from becoming an underlying long-term issue.

But it doesn’t stop at problems and issues, good communication can be a part of so many solutions in life.

You want something but you keep it to yourself because you’re too afraid to ask.

Why? Fear of rejection, fear of failure? Talk about those fears and someone else might point out how insignificant those variables are in comparison to the potential for success, if only you had asked the question in the first place.

So, ask the damn question! Ask for help. Open your mouth and communicate.

You say the relationship you have with your wife is breaking down, when was the last time you opened your mind to her about anything? When was the last time you communicated your thoughts, fears and wants?

I’m not saying here that it is going to be OK to open up about every damn thing that annoys you. Sometimes you should be that closed off alpha male, and that’s fine but the idea of compartmentalizing every thought or problem and keeping it purely to yourself will lead you down a road of solitude and misunderstanding and poor communication.

The balance is purely yours to find, but if you are unhappy with your relationships or your mental health then you might find that your communication is lacking.

Your mind is a powerful tool, sometimes we have problems and having only your mind to help you deal with those problems can often lead to overthinking and over analyzing situations. This can lead to anxiety over issues, hopelessness and even depression. Talking to someone else about what you think will give you a different perspective and allow you to take a step back and realize whatever it is might not be as bad as you are making yourself think it is.

It is important to communicate not only for your mental health but also the health of relationships, so do yourself a favor and don’t remain a closed book on everything. It’s fine to ask for help when you need it, it’s OK to say you are struggling – to do the opposite and carry on until you crumble is a road to ruin. 

Phil Halfpenny Bio:

Phil Halfpenny is a writer and blogger who specializes in Leadership, Motivation and Finance.

His first book, The Art of Budgeting is available now –

The Art of Budgeting UK

The Art of Budgeting USA



One thought on “Communication vs Compartmentalization

  1. Love this Phil. Speaking that first word is often the hardest. If no one knows what is going on no one can help.

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