We were having a very interesting discussion in my Emotional Autoimmunity Recovery Support group on Facebook today and it really struck a chord with a whole lot of people.
( P.S.The group is for a safe space for anyone living with chronic illness who wants to talk about all of the emotional challenges it brings.
You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/earec/ )
When it comes to talking about what is bothering you or making you feel sad or frustrated or hopeless, so many people don’t share for fear of being seen as “a whiny baby.”
What is even worse is that so many people have actually been told that they are being “whiny babies” or “acting like victims” or “always complaining.”
Which means that so many people don’t seek support or validation or understanding from those close to them, for fear of being judged or labeled.
Which is also why it is professionals like myself, who are very often the first to hear and really validate all of the things that you may have been struggling with for years, if not decades.
But there are other barriers to sharing how you feel that also get in the way.
Let’s go through them one by one:
Barrier 1: Other people have it way worse than me.
While it is always going to be true that someone, somewhere has it worse than you, that does not invalidate your pain, suffering or feelings.
Emotional and physical pain really is relative.
People can tolerate different levels of pain and distress depending on a whole lot of different factors.
Comparing your pain or upset to someone else is just playing another version of “compare and despair.”
There are no winners in the “who is suffering more” competition.
In fact, there is no competition at all.
How you feel is how you feel and your pain and struggle is real and valid to you, regardless of what anyone else thinks about it.
Believing that you can’t share your struggles because “someone has it way worse than you” will deprive you of the comfort, understanding, reassurance and validation you really crave.
Barrier 2: I don’t want to be seen as a “victim”.
This barrier is really just another “what will they think of me” kind of scenario.
I know from my work as a therapist that people will keep talking about their pain until they feel validated.
We all know those people who seem like victims of life.
They are always complaining, always anxious and never seem to be able to help themselves.
This is because they feel like a victim to whatever anxiety, depression or pain they are enduring because they feel totally unable to change it and it has taken over their lives.
When you are in this situation, you need outside help to break the loop of anxiety or trauma and give you skills to feel more empowered and in control.
It is not realistically, something you can do on your own but it does need you to take responsibility enough to seek and commit to changing it.
There is a HUGE difference between someone who is stuck in an emotional loop or an abusive relationship who needs professional help and feels like a victim, to someone in pain, feeling overwhelmed, sad or frustrated, who just need to vent and get some validation or support.
In this case, you are NOT being a victim.
You are just needing someone to listen to you and support you.
Which leads us to the final barrier:
Barrier 3: Other people tell me that I am being a “whiny baby.”
Who you vent to is even more important than what you have to vent about!
Not everyone can listen and be with someone who is in emotional pain or grief or anger, especially when it is something that they don’t feel they can fix.
When you confide how you feel to someone, that someone can often feel that in order to help you, they have to give you a solution.
The problem is, you don’t want a solution, you just want to say how you feel and get some reassurance, understanding or support.
Don’t confide in the people who have shown you that they are either not interested in listening or have clearly shown you that they do not have the skills to hear you without judging or belittling you.
They are telling you that you are being a “whiny baby” either because they have already judged you that way and are unlikely to change their minds or they are not the right people to turn to for support..
It’s kind of like trying to snuggle up with a poisonous snake wanting to get comfort, then being surprised that you keep getting bitten.
Choose someone you know who can listen, empathise and be supportive.
It is important to remember that needing to vent does not make you weak or whiny or a victim.
It just makes you human.
None of us are here to do this alone.
If you are struggling though and need someone who does have all the skills and experience and qualifications to help you, you can book your FREE 20 minute Discovery Session with me on Skype, anywhere in the world.
There really is no need to keep suffering alone and you deserve to invest in the person who needs to be your highest priority: You!