Suffering In Silence Is Not The Rx For A Problem

By Barton Goldsmith
Tribune News Service.

One of the most difficult things in life is when you get some bad news and you have no one to talk to about it.

Your embarrassment won’t allow you to reach out to another person, even a family member, so that you can share the difficulty, shock and sadness you may be feeling. We all have emotional bombs dropped on us in our lives, and one of the best ways to cope is to talk to someone. Unfortunately, for a number of us, this can feel impossible.

It can be very hard to share what is happening. Your desire to keep up appearances may not be serving you well here, however.

If you hold it all in, you could make yourself physically ill. It is very important to share your experience, both to get an outside perspective and to let out some of the pain. When you hold everything in, you can’t function well.

Sometimes you may feel like a bowling pin: being set up just to get knocked down again.

We all have periods in our life where that happens and when we feel that we just can’t get a break. But sharing your experience can make a big difference in how you cope with the difficulty. Bringing another human being into the picture, even if that person has nothing to do with your situation, can help you. Just talking with someone else can lift some of your emotional burden. Sharing what’s going on with you can also give you new ideas about how to deal with your problem.

These are times when silence is definitely not golden, and holding on to what is bothering you simply isn’t healthy. However, the idea of telling another person what is going on may be very scary and stop you from helping yourself heal.

I understand that pushing yourself here can be a challenge, but the relief you will get from talking about your problems will make it worth facing your insecurity about sharing. If you can’t find someone to talk with, seeing a professional is also perfectly acceptable. In fact, it may be better for you; knowing that what you say is completely confidential may make you feel safer as you share your feelings. And you may find it easier to talk with someone whom you don’t know personally.

Talking with a few people will help diffuse your suffering and give you some insights into what to do next. We are all faced with challenges in our lives, but sometimes dealing with them all by ourselves is tantamount to torture. Even though it can be frightening to talk with another person, especially about something very personal, it is without a doubt one of the best things you can do to move your life forward again.
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(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.”)

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