When we are having fun and enjoying ourselves, most people are surrounded by others, but when it comes to hardships, many people choose to be on their own. For those who would rather face their challenges on their own, it is perfectly fine. However, it is perfectly ok to look out and seek help and support.
Many people still hold the idea, that if they look for support, they are considered as weak, fragile or even sick. However, no man is an island! No one is being asked or expected to do it on his/her own all the time without any help or support. Our support system is generally made up of all those people and resources which surround us and help us to improve. We are all in this together.
Life is a cycle of ups and downs. Everyone goes through hardships and so everyone can understand each other and be there for each other. However, it takes two to tango. The person going through a rough time needs to be open to talk and be open to receive support, while the supporter needs to be able to listen without judgment, to understand, empathise and hold the situation. The basic technique of listening and containing is a must in today’s society. People are not feeling heard or seen and this often leads us to people feeling betrayed, hurt and dismissed. Unfortunately, many cases of suicide and self-harm are recorded due to this fact.
What are the benefits of speaking out?
Many people claim that when they speak out, they feel as if a certain heaviness lifts off their chest. They feel lighter and somehow, they feel that their problem/issue is no longer only theirs. There is a sense of togetherness and sharing which makes it feel better. People share because they do not want to feel alone.
Besides that, when people feel understood, most people can relax and try to take action on their issues. If the other person has been going through something similar, he/she might also feel more understood and not alone. When people share the same issues, they feel better and stronger together. This also normalises their situation. The person feels normal to not feel ok. It is ok not to be ok all the time.
Who to ask for support?
Unfortunately, not everyone has the basic skills of listening without judgment and containing another person. Others might have these skills, but they do not have enough time at hand or do not have a close relationship with you.
When you ask for support, ask wisely. Ask people who:
- really care for you and for your relationship with them
- are good listeners,
- will not judge you
- can understand you
- are honest
- are open to give constructive feedback
These may be friends, family members, co-workers, as well as professional people such as counsellors, psychotherapists, counselling psychologists, etc.
Do not fight alone! Life is not meant to be experienced on our own both during good times and bad times!