Sharing the Burden
It is a fact that many people in this world remain quiet about their problems for fear of being branded a “whiner”. The theory goes that we all have our problems and that to speak of your own makes you somehow either weaker or excessively self-absorbed. The old saying “a problem shared is a problem halved” has been replaced in many people’s lexicon with “a problem shared is a problem someone else has too now”. Many people will present a façade of friendly concern when faced with someone else’s difficulties, only to then speak about the person behind their back and criticise their lack of backbone. This attitude gets around, and results in more problems, which is why so many people decide to keep their problems to themselves.
This should not be taken as a reason to become non-communicative when it comes to your problems. Certainly, it is wise to be selective in terms of whom you tell your problems to. There will always be callous people who think that it is funny to blurt out information about an individual, and people who are willing to listen and share a joke about it. Equally, there will always be people who feel that their every concern is of interest to everyone else. Neither of these kinds of people are right. What is true is that there will always be people who are willing to listen and help. It is important not only to identify these people, but to realize that they are ready to listen, and that you can count on them as long as you do not overwhelm them.
It is never beneficial to overload someone else with your problems, and certainly it is unwise to demand solutions from other people – we human beings are complex entities, and our problems are seldom simple. But sometimes speaking about a problem can allow you to see it from a different perspective, and can initiate a process that will see you solve your problems. This may take time, but the fact of the matter is that addressing a problem is a far more proactive approach than not addressing it. Tackling the problem may not get rid of it immediately, but sitting and worrying about it certainly will not. In fact, often the longer you think about a problem, the larger you allow it to become – especially if the problem is largely in your mind.
Do not be convinced that because some people are cold-hearted enough to laugh at your problems, others will too. People in general do not like to see their friends suffer, and will go to some lengths to ensure that they can see a way through their problems. It is frequently said that what goes around comes around, and that if you help someone today, they may help you tomorrow. Being open and honest about your problems may put you in a position where, one day, you will be able to return the favour to the person who listens to you.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on Sep 27, 2009.