Let me start by saying that if you’re wondering what a post about whether or not you’re a safe person for people to share their problems, concerns, and fears with has to do with living well with a chronic illness, then keep reading and you will soon find out.
As I’m sure you know from experience, there are many people with whom it’s not safe to share them. If you’re like me, you learned the hard way that if you did, they would respond in a way that made you feel worse than you already did. Some were dismissive and said “Just get over it!” Some would condescendingly tell me how they had easily solved a problem they saw as much more difficult than mine was. And others were just plain critical. They would let me know that if I just had my act together (or words to that effect), that I could easily solve whatever problem or concern or get past whatever fear I had.
Since learning the hard way that it’s not safe to share those things with everyone, I’ve become wiser. I can often tell whether a person is safe or not. And if I can’t tell, I’ll say some things to test the waters, and will only share my those concerns and fears—especially the major ones—with people who “pass.”
I bet that you do something similar.
I think it’s really important for us to have people in our lives that we can share our problems, concerns, and fears with for a couple of reasons. Obviously people who care about us will support us and try to help us with them. And besides that, in the process of sharing them, we often see ways to manage, solve, or overcome them that we wouldn’t see if we kept silent about them.
So sharing those problems, concerns, and fears is a good thing. And there’s a person I haven’t yet mentioned that you can share them with: YOU. When you do that, then in the same way that you can get support from others and in the same way that you can see new possible solutions just in the act of sharing, you can get support from yourself and you can see new perspectives and answers by sharing your problems, concerns, and fears with yourself.
The idea of doing that may sound strange, but if you try it, you’ll find that it works very well. But—and this is important–it only works well if you are a safe person when it comes to sharing those things with yourself.
If you are often dismissive of your concerns or if you tell yourself that you shouldn’t have the fears you do or if you weren’t so messed up (or whatever word you use), you would have solved your problems a long time ago, then you have shown yourself that you are not a safe person to share your problems, concerns, and fears with. And, without knowing why, you won’t.
But to solve your problems and address your fears and concerns, it’s important to share them with yourself as well as with others. And to do that, you need to be a safe person to share them with. So if you have been dismissive or critical of yourself, start being gentle, understanding, and compassionate (and this includes being understanding of yourself and compassionate and gentle FOR having been dismissive and critical).
I know you will find that making these changes will be a big help in dealing with the challenges of living with a chronic illness, as well and with your other problems and concerns.
If you would like more helpful ideas, I invite you to click here get my free report: Finally! Real Hope for People Suffering from Chronic Illnesses.