Hiding Our Problems
by, 08-14-2010 at 03:14 PM (1100 Views)
This is something that I've thought about for a long time, and it's something that is just kind of hard to bring up with most people I know. I almost made this as a post, but it's personal enough that I think a blog entry is more appropriate.
Basically, it seems to me in life that except for close friends and family members, everyone seems to hide their problems. I do this too. It seems like everyone is happy and enjoying life, and when they do talk about problems, it's little things...things that you say to joke about to ease tension, or maybe even blow off some stream...but rarely is it serious.
Of course, some problems are private and just feel awkward to mention in casual conversation. But I was wondering why in general we hide our problems so much.
I think really, the main thing is we're afraid how other people will react. We're afraid they'll they won't want to hear us complaining, maybe. Or maybe they'll think there's something wrong with us. Or maybe they'll think we're being negative. Or maybe we're afraid they won't want to hang around us. Or maybe they can't relate to our problems. Or maybe they'll think ours arent' a big deal compared to theirs. Or maybe they just won't care.
I don't know how much of this is an ISFJ thing. I think the average person I know probably only sees the happy, good side of me. They might think I'm always carefree, always goofy, always nice, even if I am pretty quiet. I think most people that know me think that I bring a calm friendliness and happiness to them.
And for most people I know, I see the same thing.
But...I definitely have my own problems. And sometimes they eat away at me. A lot of times I feel weird, or lonely, or alone. I feel like I can't relate to a number of people, or that they don't take me seriously. I feel like I can't be completely myself around anyone but myself, because I care too much what people think of me and don't want to run them off. It's like I'm scared that people will stop accepting me if they know everything about me. And I think that's where a lot of my self-confidence issues come from, even though people tell me great things about me often.
(It's funny, and it has helped that a lot of these are typical ISFJ things. :) Recognizing that helps me to feel better a lot of times, too)
Of course, in the grand scheme of things, my problems are small. I have a good job, one I can do, one that is enough for me to support myself. I'm not poor or starving like a lot of the world, and I have many material comforts. I wasn't abused, don't have any diseases, have a loving family, have never been addicted to drugs, don't have credit card debts...I mean, sometimes I feel like my problems are miniscule.
But I think it's just frustrating how we can't talk about our problems more. Because I know....I just know...that people I know that seem totally happy and wonderful and perfect...probably have problems that I have no idea about, and might even be shocked to find out. Every now and then that happens...I find out sometihng about someone, and it just reminds me that there's so much I don't know. But sometimes it's still so hard to shake the idea that some people seem to be so happy and don't seem to have problems, becaues I never see them. (Though of course, they probably don't see mine either). But that's what I hate so much...us not communicating it.
I think for me too I'm afraid of people trying to tell me what to do to fix things. A lot of times, I just need to express my issues and let them out...I don't need someone to try to solve them. I just need to talk about them.
I remember I heard in a conference once that if someone tells you about a problem, you should never give advice about it unless they ask you to. And I've found for me that's extremely true...a lot of times I don't want people to solve my problems, I just want to talk to someone about them. And that's what I'm doing right now in the blog entry, actually.
There is one quotation that does always help me with this, though, and I try to remember it and go by it, even if that's not always easy:
"If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back."