My biggest struggle in life was to show my struggles to people! Why would I want someone to know that I’m struggling with my finances or my faith or my weight? That’s not something I wanted to show people. I wanted my real life to be like Facebook, where I only showed my best pictures and told my best stories. But, after a while, I realized that the benefits of showing some of your struggles far outweigh trying to make yourself look perfect with a perfect life.
5 Benefits Of Showing Others Some Of Your Struggles
1. They Get To Know YOU More
When you are fake and pretend like everything is good all of the time, other people can’t get to know the real you. They know the ‘you’ that you show them. But, they don’t know the issues that you are facing or the reasons behind what you do in your life. And that can cause problems.
For instance, you may be stressed out and quick-tempered because of your current struggle, but if people don’t know that you are going through some sort of struggle right now, they will not understand why you are being the way you are. They may label you as a jerk, uncaring, or inappropriate. That will affect the way they view you negatively.
But, if they understand that your quick-temper is stemming from a struggle you are having in life, they won’t take it so personally because they will understand you and why you may be in the mood that you are in.
2. Your Relationship Improves
Everyone has struggled in life. Even that perfect neighbor who seems to have it all together.
We all have fears, worries, and problems that arise in life, even if we don’t share them with others.
When you become real with other people, they feel more comfortable around you. They know that you are like them and don’t always have an easy ride in life. That gives you something in common and you begin to communicate better as well as offer support to each other.
It also helps them understand you better and get closer to you. When they know that you are not being a jerk, but, instead you are stressed out, they are more willing to step towards you and work with you to help you overcome the issues you are having. They are also more willing to listen to you, support you, hang around you, and relate to you.
3. You Can Inspire/Motivate/Change Them
You may be struggling right now, but with your faith, motivation, drive, stamina, positive beliefs, or other lifestyle habits you have, you can come out of the struggle stronger, happier, and more successful. That is a huge inspiration to other people.
If they only see your successes, they may not be inspired by your way of life. But, if they can see that your successes come despite your struggles – thanks to your way of life, they will be more inclined to adopt the principles, beliefs, and strategies you implement in your life.
In other words, if you are trying to get someone else to believe in what you believe or be more like you, you must show them your struggles as well as your successes. Telling them why your beliefs or way of life is great won’t convince them to adopt those beliefs or habits. But, showing them that your beliefs and habits are what help you make it through the struggles will help them see the value in them, which means they will be more likely to adopt them themselves.
4. You Can Teach Them
If you get yourself into a big problem, it’s often an opportunity to teach other people what NOT to do. You can help others understand how the issue came about, how it could’ve been avoided, and what to do to get out of it – and that is some valuable teaching right there!
Others will benefit from your downfalls in life, and that’s not a bad thing. They will be grateful that you were willing to share your experience and wisdom, and they will respect you for both sharing and for coming out of it okay and showing them that even if it happens to them, they will make it through too.
For example, I had ONE friend on Facebook who was real all the time. (I’ve since gone off Facebook completely.) She happened to be going through a lot of struggles, and, without complaining, she shared them with all of her friends. She didn’t whine about them. She just shared them and her journey through them, and I learned a lot from her. I also respected the heck out of her for being the only person strong enough to admit that life wasn’t always perfect and, despite that, she was willing to embrace the good and the bad every step of the way.
5. You Can Get Some Much Needed Help
Some struggles you can overcome on your own, but more often than not, you need other people to help you get through tough times.
When you decide to show some of your struggles to others, you open yourself up to a flood of advice and support. The best of people often come out when their friends or loved ones are struggling. It’s amazing how much support people are willing to give in times of need.
You may not realize that other people in your life have worked through the same struggles you are having and that they have a ton of valuable advice to give you to help you feel better and start overcoming the issue at hand. You will be amazed at how many people have been where you are and can help you feel better about the situation.
You will also find yourself getting a ton of support, even if they can’t offer you advice to help you move forward. They will be there for you. And, they will do what they can to help you. And, that will give you some resources that can help you move out of your struggle faster.
Don’t Show Everyone Your Struggles
Not everyone needs to know your personal life.
For instance, depending on what your work situation is like, your coworkers are probably not people you should tell all of your problems to. These are people that you should set up some boundaries with when sharing.
It doesn’t mean you should be fake with them. But, it does mean that telling them about your relationship problems is not going to benefit you or them. In fact, it could come back to haunt you if your partner finds out that you’ve been telling everyone at work about your problems. Or, it could make your coworkers, who don’t know you intimately, label you in a very negative way.
There are two types of people who you should share with.
- The people closest to you. They know you the best (they have a balanced story about who you are), and they are your biggest support system, so sharing your ups and downs should come with the territory as they can help you in a big way if you need it.
- People you don’t know personally. Whether you blog about your struggles or connect with other people on forums, people you don’t know can relate, offer advice, and motivate you to work on overcoming your struggles. In fact, there are many people online searching to see if anyone else is going through what they are going through and if they can help them in any way.
Don’t Make Your Struggles The Center Of Your Relationship With Others
While this challenge is about opening up to other people, you don’t want to make your problems the only thing you talk about or focus on with your friends and family.
- You need to be able to focus on their lives too in order to make them feel like more than just a sounding board or support system that you are using.
- You also need to share the good things in your life to show them that you understand that it’s not all bad.
- And you need to be willing to work on your struggles rather than getting stuck in a victim mentality; otherwise, your risk becoming that person who always complains, cries, and focuses on the negative… the person that nobody wants to be around.
Challenge: Show One Person Your Current Struggle
It’s hard to be open and honest when you are used to pretending that everything is alright, so take it one person at a time.
Choose one person in your life who you are close to. Make a commitment to share with them a current struggle you are going with.
You may worry about them judging you, labeling you, or criticizing you, but do it anyway. It’s important to push forward so that you can see what will really happen, not what you THINK will happen.
Bring up the struggle casually or seriously. It’s up to you. The point of this challenge is not to dwell on how to bring something up, it’s just to bring it up and let someone in on something you normally wouldn’t let them in on.
Write Down Your Experience
After you open up about your struggle, write down your experience.
- How did it feel to be honest?
- How did they react?
- Did they have anything valuable to help – advice from experience, tools, tricks, friend’s that could relate, etc.?
- Do you feel closer to that person?
By analyzing the experience, you may find that you want to do this again with someone else. In fact, you may find yourself becoming more open with your ups and your downs with people as a way of life!