We all face challenging times in this world. Whether it be surrounding our job, a relationship, familial matters, or anything else we tend to encounter in this thing we call life, everything has its rougher patches. While these patches may be inherently difficult to go through, one of the biggest factors in determining just how difficult they are is our response to them.
Many of us are quick to vocalize our trials and tribulations. We may not directly address those involved, but we tend to have a trusted individual (if not several) that we always turn to for advice. But there is also a select group of us that respond differently. Rather than seeking others, we choose to instead internalize our hardship.
Despite being quite vocal when I need to be, I recently realized that when it comes to personal matters, I tend to be quite introverted in my response. At times, it undoubtedly is the better approach, but in most cases that internalization can lead to frustration, loneliness, and ultimately, bigger blow-ups — amongst many other things.
Wanting to correct this, I decided to do some self-reflection and have come up 4 lies that I have used to convince myself that internalizing is the better response.
1. Confrontation Is A Bad Thing
If handled immaturely, confrontation certainly make matters worse rather than better. But if you choose to not be confrontational at all, you might as well tattoo the word 'Welcome' on your forehead because you're bound to become everybody's metaphorical doormat.
I'm not suggesting you roll up your sleeves and get ready to throw a punch the next time somebody cuts you off in traffic, but I am suggesting that you calmly voice your concerns when that form of response seems justified. It may feel awkward and uncomfortable at first, but the more you stand up for yourself, the more natural it becomes.
In doing this, I've also found that the reality is rarely as awful as what my mind can conjure; on many occasions what I anticipated to be a major confrontational point was actually passed over fairly painlessly — in stark contrast to how I had imagined the encounter in my head.
2. Internalizing Makes Me Tough
Despite there being over 7 billion of us on this planet, apparently (at least to my mind) nothing makes me tougher than going through and getting through something on my own. While I'm not implying that we should turn to people for every little matter in life, I am suggesting that we can draw strength from others and it is okay to do so.
In the end, all that people can provide you is a sympathetic ear. If you're lucky, you'll get some good advice and a different perspective, too. Ultimately, you will still need to get yourself through the situation, so put your ego aside and realize that you are just as tough a man or woman for seeking out some support as you would be if you didn't.
3. "You Need To Look Within" & Other Overly-Interpreted Spiritual Blah-Blah
As a so-called "spiritual individual" on a relatively "spiritual" website, this point may raise some eyebrows, and justifiably so. The concept of "looking within" is certainly a powerful one, and one which even I myself have referenced on many occasions.
I do believe that all change ultimately starts within, and that remembering to look within when your mind wants you to point the finger of blame elsewhere is a great awakening point. But like most things in the spiritual movement, this perspective is also overused and abused.
In this case, I find that looking within has the potential to be unhealthy when you do it so extensively that you forget that no matter how deep in you go, you still live in the outside world. It's in a balance between spirituality and realism that you can best identify whether the answer to your current situation lies within or without.
4. No One Will Understand Me
We all like to think we are more complex than everyone else, but the truth is, just because we are all unique doesn't mean we don't all go through a lot of the same "shit."
Rather than putting the entire weight of your challenge on your already-busy shoulders, why not just seek out the help of others? Even if they can't directly relate, just vocalizing it could help you to see it in different way.
We may live in a world where attention spans are shrinking to match the 10 seconds that Snapchat gives us, but that doesn't mean that others are completely incapable of conversing and connecting with you.