To Share or Not to Share
By Alisha Dhillon
Amidst recent duress, I felt the need to reflect. I’d gotten quite low last week due to something that was out of my control: a choice that someone else made. I was affected by this choice more than I’d like to have been. My state of mind plummeted further than it has in a while and I lost my way. I wasn’t optimistic that time would heal me and I didn’t believe that I had the strength to get past it. I indulged in self-pity and despair, two things that I’m really against engaging in. Fortunately, the darkest aspects of this event passed quickly. This is because I did one good thing: I confided in my friends. In doing so, I was reminded of the immense value of that practice.
If you’re like me, you may have at some point lived with the fear that sharing your problems with friends or family would only serve to burden them. If this is a belief you still hold, I want to take this moment to assure you that it won’t. I understand the tendency to isolate yourself when you’re especially sad and hopeless and I have been guilty of this habit in the past. But it’s important to remember that the human experience is meant to be shared. We all have the same emotions even though our hardships differ. It’s imperative that we don’t go through things alone because we’re simply not meant to.
When I made the choice to share my situation with my friends and family, it became incredibly clear that they weren’t burdened at all. Instead they felt valued, trusted, and appreciated. That’s exactly how I feel when my loved ones confide in me so it’s a wonder that it never occured to me that they’d feel the same way.
On the other hand, as the lovely Coco shared with me, friends can feel burdened or “dumped on” when the person has arrived with very set views and a defeated mindset. In that scenario this friend isn’t actually looking for advice, they just want to borrow an ear to whine into. Everyone has been guilty of this at some point and that’s okay as long as you recognize this tendency and change it. So open up and share your struggles with your friends and let them help you. Then, really honor their time by listening to and acting on the advice that they took the time and effort to share with you.