We never know what is going on behind closed doors with those around us. It can feel like we are the only ones struggling with low self-esteem or troubled relationships. It is easy to judge someone’s insides by the way they appear or ‘act’ in the outside world.
Some of us have put on great performances too but felt entirely different inside our own heart.
It’s not always easy to see the torment of self-doubt or negative thoughts inside someone’s head unless it shows in their demeanor. After all, some aren’t as good at pretending as others.
Some people wear their heart on their sleeve while others appear emotionally detached. We may judge the disconnected ones to be mean or arrogant, when in actuality they may be in pain.
For example, there is a woman I see at a place we both frequent, and up until recently we’ve exchanged a wave or passing smile for the most part. My initial impression of her was one of aloofness, emotional distance and not easily approachable. In spite of that, when the situation presented itself, I felt an internal ‘pull’ to give her a complimentary copy of my book.
Not only did it lighten up her face to receive something for free, but it led to an amazing conversation as well. Turns out, there was a lot of pain going on behind her eyes. She suddenly started opening up about some situations in her life that needed improvement and asking what to do about them.
She commented about feeling powerful and confident in her career but barely spoke in her own home from the disappointment and powerlessness she felt there. I started sharing examples from my own life which helped me see how far I had come, and grateful to not be walking in her shoes at this moment in time.
It was a genuine, totally open conversation, which felt wonderful. I left feeling compassion instead of judgment and grateful she felt comfortable enough to share her truth with me.
Our exchange lasted for about an hour but the good feelings still remain.
It is beautiful when our experiences can help someone else who is going through the same things we have. We all have experiences that can help others which makes our input and history very valuable; not only to ourselves but to others in similar situations as well.
Certainly, it is not always appropriate to provide full disclosure and discernment is very important.
I hope she will read mine or other books that resonate with her, so she can start applying the information to her life. However, that can be easier said than done. Even though mine is a compilation of my coaching curriculum and personal experiences; sometimes people aren’t sure how to apply self-help material to their own lives and specific situations.
Therefore, many benefit greatly from personalized one-on-one help or group support. Each can offer huge benefits, in addition to just reading helpful material individually.
Thankfully, there are many different ways to go about getting this help:
- There are many types and styles of coaching or therapy available.
- Many create book clubs to share their interpretations of the material being read.
- There are often counseling groups within churches, and other places of worship.
- Others have buddy systems with one or more friends to hold each other accountable.
All these methods help to cheer us on into taking the hard actions we would not necessarily feel strong enough to do alone.
It was wonderful to see that the woman I spoke with was not arrogant, as previously determined but was in need of help instead. It was beautiful to see she was open to assistance and honestly sharing about how she felt. These are great first steps to healing.
If applicable, see if there is a support buddy, church, or organization you can join. Take the first step by giving them a call.