Here’s a fun fact for January.
We are social beings and the reason our species has survived is because of our ability to band in groups and form connections. Forming these connections means occupying space in someone else's life and letting someone else occupy space in yours. It comes with us experiencing a wide range of emotions in relationships - from unbridled happiness all the way to gut-wrenching disappointment - while also allowing others to be concerned about you and caring for you and vice versa. Quite the spectrum, isn’t it?
There is a common belief that when one shows people around you their struggles, one becomes burdensome. Which might make us withdraw/isolate from people, leaving us feeling disconnected and alone. That is when we start to feel like we would rather just deal with our problems alone; that our problems are too much for other people, even our loved ones. Worthlessness starts to take up too much room and we question our existence. The depressing feeling of ‘feeling like a burden’ creeps in.This thought saddens me, and I often think about how the world might be different if we all learned to hold space for others and ourselves.
I can acknowledge, however, that sometimes people can make you feel like a burden. But should we allow that to define how we feel about ALL our relationships?
Trying to focus on the relationships that do feel nurturing to you (instead of generalising) leading us to close the door with a deadbolt. The ironic part is that we so often love to help people around us. Remember this when this feeling comes up or you are contemplating sharing or asking for help. You are probably doing both of you a favour by allowing them to help you when you need it. Research shows that when someone provides others with even a little bit of social support, they themselves experience feel-good emotions, like hope and courage.
Human connection is one of the most potent tools we have for maintaining our mental health. It might be difficult a lot of the time but that’s alright. You can start by sharing what you can or just being with people.
Research shows that simply being with people who care is helpful, even when we don’t want to be around them. And sometimes, that’s all it takes.