“Hi _____, how are you?”
“Hey ______, I’m good, thank you.”
When someone asks you about you, “I’m fine” or “I’m good” or something similar is the default response, right? We’re trained to show up like this. This is what people want to hear. This is how we should act in our day-to-day world. But there are times when we are not feeling great, when we are not okay. And during those days, we must equip ourselves to deviate from the normal ways, as hard as it may be, acknowledge our negative emotions, and get comfortable with being vulnerable, at least to a deserving few.
Thanks to social media, we all try to project a picture-perfect reality to our friends, colleagues and loved ones. We keep the unpolished truths of our lives hidden and in the process, instead of connecting with like-minded and resourceful people, we sometimes start building empty and fake friendships.
Superficial friends, hollow relationships, and counterfeit intimacy are nothing short of toxic and must be avoided at all costs. Success and happiness demand authenticity.
It’s crucial that we embrace vulnerability and share our messy truths with people who have earned the right to know about them.
As we go through the COVID-19 pandemic, there are times when I feel sad, isolated, and lonely. Writing and talking about success psychology, philosophy, personal development, and the human condition doesn’t mean that I’m automatically shielded from experiencing negative emotions. But I’m grateful that I have a handful of people that I can reach out to and share my feelings with, without any fear of judgment. For me personally, talking with others is an important avenue that helps me process my emotions and come up with solutions and/or useful strategies.
You can do the same. Don’t hold back your tears or act strong; just be your most authentic and vulnerable self. Sharing your problems, worries and struggles doesn’t mean that they will be gone, but when you share what’s weighing you down with a trusted few, you feel your burdens getting lighter and your shoulders getting broader. As an old saying goes, “A sorrow shared is a sorrow lessened.”
So, when a trusted friend or family member asks you next time, “Hi _____, how are you?”, tell them what you’re really going through without holding back.
And if you still find yourself struggling and demanding to be heard, gather the courage to seek professional help, whether in person or online. Reaching out to people who can help you is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of character, maturity and strength. It shows you want to become wiser and stronger and live your best life, and there’s no shame in that.
You are amazing, and no matter what you’re going through, always remember, you matter and you are not alone.