Opening up to your SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES
BY KAYLA COLLETT
I am sure that at some point in our lives, we all have struggled to open up to other people about our problems, whether friends or family, especially if we think they are going through their own issues and therefore you do not want to “trouble” them or be a “burden” to them. This idea of being a burden to someone is extremely detrimental to our self-esteem, as it leaves us in a constant state where we bottle things up and never talk to people about them. This, in turn, renders us confused, sad, and closed oﬀ. Communication is highly important, and I urge you to vent your problems to your close friends or family members if you need to, as sometimes you can be really diﬃcult and unfair to yourself by trying to deal with your issues all on your own. Some people, understandably, find it very hard to open up and trust people, but instead of building this metaphorical wall around your emotions because you might be scared of being vulnerable or annoying others, try to lower your guard and let in the people who genuinely want to help you. Take proper care of your mental health by talking to people! Here are a few ideas and bits of advice on how to open up to other people.
Ditch the “I’m a burden” narrative
There is absolutely no point thinking of yourself as a burden every single time you feel overwhelmed with work or stress, and it is important that you respect yourself instead of putting yourself down just because you think people will be “troubled” by you talking about your problems – this is certainly not the case. This way of thinking will hinder your ability to open up to people You should try to ditch this narrative and love yourself a little more; quit thinking of yourself as a burden – easier said than done, I agree, but definitely doable.
Make the effort
This is super important. Making the eﬀort to talk to people can help you eventually build solid foundations for friendships, which would certainly help you open up to people by allowing yourself to maintain good and stable relationships with others. On the other hand, you should also note when the people you care about or are trying to be friends with are not reciprocating or making the eﬀort. Unfortunately, this is extremely common amongst people; one does not make the eﬀort to communicate and get along, while the other tries their hardest and makes the eﬀort on a regular basis. One-sided friendships will definitely not help you open up to people. Learn to let friends like these go; people who do not put in the same amount of eﬀort are not friends worth the eﬀort and struggle.
Find someone you can trust
This is super important in helping you find a good friend to open up to as you obviously cannot open up to people you do not trust. It is certainly difficult to find trustworthy friends who you can vent anything and everything to, but it is definitely possible. Solid friendships do not happen overnight – they require hard work and eﬀort (as previously mentioned) that will mould it into being steadfast. Finding someone you can trust definitely takes time, so perhaps you could try to first make the eﬀort, then gauge whether or not they can be trusted, and only once you’re sure, open up to them. In essence, it is rather simple, but in practise it can take a lot of time and patience to establish proper, dependable friendships.
Let your guard down
This is one of the most difficult things to do since it requires you to be vulnerable. How can you make friends and open up to them when you have built all these walls around yourself? It certainly is tough to open up to people by letting your guard down, but in order to actually open up to people, you have to have a certain degree of vulnerability to really be able to trust your friends and believe in their ability to help you get through whatever issues you might be facing.
Stop assuming the worst about people
This is true for people who are extremely and unwaveringly pessimistic. It is not easy to change your ways, but pessimism hinders people’s abilities to open up to people and trust them. By assuming that people are always out to get you, hate you, or find you annoying, you are inherently already expecting the worst of them, which does not help you in opening up to people. Try being a little more positive.
Positivity can be built by practising meditation, making positive aﬃrmations daily, or even just faking positivity to overcome negativity! Easier said than done; in practise this can be diﬃcult, however it is definitely possible if you simply take it one step at a time.
Therefore, it is crucial that we open up to people in order to share our problems with them and have them advise or help us with our issues. The next time you have an issue, try talking to someone about it! Solid friendships are one of the most valuable assets to possess, and although it may be diﬃcult for some to build stable and reliable friendships, it is definitely possible.