Suffering in Silence

Do you suffer in silence? Many people do, I am always saddened when I hear that someone has been dealing with a problem and felt that there was no one they could talk to. This happens more often than you might expect.

There are several reasons for this, it might be that there is no one who we feel comfortably close to when it comes to sharing our fears and difficulties. Sometimes there is the feeling that we don’t want to burden others with our problems. If we could get past these two barriers, there is still the tendency, in our society, to project that all is well, even if it’s not. We do such a good job of this, that when someone is struggling in some aspect of their lives, they feel as though they are the only one with this problem.

We become alienated from ourselves if we are feeling angry, hurt, or depressed inside, while projecting the opposite feelings to those around us. Feelings remain blocked or suppressed inside, and this energy must come out in some way. It may manifest as anger or hostility towards others (taking it out on the children, partner, or co-workers) or as health problems (headaches, ulcers, stress, and tension).

Talking it out can be very healing, but it is important to do this with the right person. It must be someone whom you can trust to keep what you share confidential It’s best if the person is a good listener who withholds judgement and advice giving. Often as we talk through our difficulties, we find that our own solutions emerge spontaneously.

If you have friends or family members to whom you feel close, but have never really shared deeply, you may find that if you do, the relationship becomes even closer. Chances are that this person will open up in response to your sharing. You may find that you are both relieved to have someone you can really talk to. The floodgates may open, with things coming out that you have held inside for years.

If you share with the intention to understand more deeply, and to create positive outcomes in your life, this kind of sharing can be tremendously healing. If the sharing becomes simply dumping on others who are not present, then you are in a negative process which will ultimately only make things worse.

We all have the ability to support others in positive ways. Right now just about everyone has some struggle in their lives. Perhaps if we stop hiding our pain, we could really be there for each other. Ultimately, that’s what life is all about anyway, so we might as well get on with it.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychologist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, CDs or MP3s, visit Follow Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.