The support of our social circle is one of the reasons that we seek out friendships and relationships. These are not just people to have fun with. They’re those that we’re supposed to be able to turn to when we need some type of help.
Sometimes, when we feel sad, overwhelmed, or worried about something, we hesitate to open up and share how we feel with he friend or family member, because we have this concern about being a “burden.” As psychologists on Long Island, we are available to be a form of support that you can turn to for extra care, but we also need to overcome this fear that our struggles are something others cannot handle.
Why Avoiding Being a Burden Can Be Its Own Burden
It’s true that many people live stressful lives. But the idea that these other people cannot handle hearing about our problems underestimates many things about the friendship and relationship:
- It assumes that the friend or family member does not already know something is wrong. Most of the people that are close to us in our lives are capable of noticing when we are not our best selves. By not sharing, we’re still giving them the burden of knowing something is wrong without the ability for them to help us, which may be an even greater burden.
- We matter to those that love us, but rarely do people take on a severe emotional load when they help someone they care about. They may empathize and worry, but most people are capable of caring about someone without it necessarily putting a large load on their plate.
- It prevents the relationship from growing even closer. Opening ourselves up to others and leaning on them can help you become closer in your friendship, and also lets the other person feel that they can be more comfortable with you as well.
It’s helpful to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you feel if you know that your child, best friend, or someone else close to you was struggling and refused to tell you? Wouldn’t you rather know about it, see how you can be helpful, and contribute to their recovery?
Even if there was nothing you could actually do, at least you’d be there for the person to share their feelings. That would make you feel better, and make them feel better, and you probably wouldn’t feel that burden by the experience.
It’s Okay to Share
So the next time you’re feeling anxious about the idea of sharing this information with someone you care about because you don’t “want to be a burden,” remember that it is likely even more of a burden to not share your thoughts and feelings with the people in your life that care about you. If you still need someone to talk to, the Long Island couples counselors and therapists at Long Island psychology are here to help.