Picture This. You and a close friend meet for lunch and you ask how she’s been. She tells you about work, home, all the things she can’t get to…and then she says “Really, it’s all a struggle.”
Now, be honest. What is your first reaction? Is she depressed, should she get on medication, does her partner know and how are you going to tell them, you flash to dropping off meals and helping with the kids while she recovers and gets ‘back’ to herself?
Ok – maybe I was a bit dramatic there but not too far off the mark. Exactly what about her conversation sounds off?
None of it.
This is one of the primary reasons we all hang on to our outer story. This story about how it’s all good, great, no complaints (all words I have said often!). And to say its all fine. Otherwise, they’ll think you’re crazy.
But when we listen to loved ones – partners – people you are committed to be involved with…why do we retaliate and try to fix a problem when our thoughts and feelings are echoed back?
And we all stop sharing as a result because it seems lonely. Lonely to be ostracized and misunderstood. Somehow more lonely than keeping it all stacked inside. In the end…it’s not. Holding back and not being who we are with friends and partners will chip away and create resentment. It will create a thick armor worn when we “just have to get it done”.
Now, it’s your turn. Who in your life can you opening talk about how you feel. Disappointment at a comment (or lack of one), the stress of not feeling like you get it done, when is it ever going to change…? Anyone? When you talk to them do they get the face of alarm or start the gratitude swirl of how much you should be grateful for to convince you its really all ok. You just can’t see it yet?
And how does that make you feel? Small. Frustrated and committed to no further share in the future.
It may actually go that way. But if the person is important to you – stand your ground. Tease apart the words so it is more clear and if that does work…it’s time to dig super deep. If its a friend, it may be time to cut them lose. All of these are choices.
But it starts with YOU having the courage to express YOU. To embrace what you hear and what you want to say. To relate to others. Not to retaliate to what they are trying to convey.
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