Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness, Addiction, and Abuse (c)2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Beneath every outward personality lies another. It is more secret, and reserved for those near in proximity and heart. Generally, that less-revealed side is most active when we feel comfortable. This may be among friends, with a safe confidant, or at home.
Typically, we put our most likely to be accepted face on in public. It makes sense then, that people in the office, at weekend parties, at church, and in school only know what we want them to see.
Quite frequently I hear “I’m a great actor. No one knows what is going on inside. No one sees me.” Interestingly, these same speakers are often complaining that no one understands. It’s a mixed up world when we long so deeply to be known, and yet live silently in fear of expressing our inner self.
That is not weird. It is human.
How about taking a risk and exposing a little of your hidden self? For example, maybe you like to sing in the shower or invent solutions to problems. Perhaps you have favorite movies or past times most people do not know about. Are you confused or hurt? These are all topic options for more openly sharing your other side.
3 pointers for revealing more of yourself
- Know your audience. If you want to get something off your chest, choose your confidants wisely. Significant people in our lives may not always be the safest ones. Look for a person who will be non-judgmental and is not a gossip.
- Join a group. This may be a support group or basketball team. Whatever your past time, be in a group where talking about it is okay. For example, joining a church with like-minded people gives me the freedom to be more myself in that context.
- Leak slowly. Perhaps you are a bucket about ready to run over. I get it. However, save the torrent for after you know people well. Either that, or spread the joy by choosing more than one person to talk to, offering smaller bits to each.
I have made the mistake of telling (almost) everything to people, only to find them backing away, using the information to their advantage through gossip, or basing blame for their shortcomings on me. For this reason, I understand wariness about exposure.
Through trial and error, I learned the above 3 pointers. Take my advice, if you will. It is better to eventually find the right people than to keep yourself locked inside.