I grew up around people who didn’t understand me very much and I didn’t have the balls to fight them off so I learned to pretend or let’s say I learned to toe the line. Most of my teachers and discipline masters would say I’m was a recalcitrant student and it’s not because I was inherently bad. It’s because they didn’t do a good job at explaining life’s rules to me and since I thought I was smart, I always looked for a way to break or escape the rules.
The fact that the people around me didn’t understand me made me very sad growing up and I made a promise to myself that when I’m grown, I’ll try my best to ensure that the people around me are comfortable and not sad. I feel very bad when somebody around me get’s sad and at times I go out of my way to make them happy or at least not sad. People take advantage of this weakness of mine but I still think it’s a principle which I want to live by.
Back to the topic
Now back to the topic of discussion. I want to believe I help a lot of people and each time I get to help someone, I sacrifice something be it time, money, resources etc and it drains me. Whenever I have to go out of my way to help someone, I remember the famous quote by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
”Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they are.”
Well some people argue that man is not born free at least we’re born with a placenta which ties us to our mother but that’s a discussion for another day.
I think life is hard and each of us has their own fair share of problems. Now when someone tells me their problem, most at times I’ll attempt to find a solution with them and even if I can’t solve it, I’ll feel inadequate as if I’m a failure since I can’t help my friends to make their problems go away. E.g If you tell me you’re hungry, I’ll buy you food but if you tell me you need a new car because your current car is bad, I can’t afford a new car so all I can do is sympathise with you and I hate being in that state where I can’t help. I feel if I can’t help you then I’m useless as my rational brain would tell me that sympathy doesn’t really solve problems. Some people have told me that at times they aren’t looking for a solution when they tell me their issues, they’re just trying to talk to someone and it helps them to get over the stress.
It’s worth nothing that I have a very low amount of emotional intelligence so I’m not really good at expressing my emotions and I don’t understand people’s emotions very much either. Perhaps that’s why I don’t understand the emotional benefits of sharing one’s problems with others. e.g I still don’t understand why people cry when they have problems but some people say it helps them so empathically, i have no choice but to accept his. I’m trying to work on my emotional intelligence but I still feel the world would be a far better place if we act more based on rationality instead of acting based on our emotions but this is a discussion for another day.
It’s draining when people I care about tell me their problems and I have to help them solve it or if I can’t solve the problem, I feel weak and inadequate, I don’t want people to have this same feelings so I tend not to tell people my own problems. I don’t want to be one more chain which people have to deal with. I want to be one less thing which my friends and family members have to worry about. I think in not sharing with them my issues, they are at least free from worrying about me and as such I’ve helped them to reduce the stress of the world’s issues. I instead try very much to make be funny since laughing helps people to forget about their larger issues.
One disadvantage of not letting people know about what you’re going through is that your relationships would be too superficial. Most of the time, I talk with people about stuff like which video game I like, or which girl I like or where I want to live in future but some people think that’s not enough. You’ll never find me talking to someone about my financial issues, emotional issues or career issues. One reason why I don’t open up is because I feel that most people can’t relate with the things I’m going through and even those that can relate, I don’t want to be a burden to them. Maybe I’m just a shy guy who isn’t man enough to talk about his issues so take this with a grain of salt.
Now, I don’t recommend this behaviour for everyone. Not everyone is strong enough to handle the stress of their problems by themselves. So if you feel that talking to someone helps you handle your problems better, by all means do it but just know that in doing so, you’re making your problem another person’s problem and it costs some mental energy and/or resources from the other person. So please understand that there’s a cost that comes into letting other’s know about our issues and we should be responsible enough to reduce the burden which we place on people when we discuss our problems with them.
I think the world would be a better place if we bother each other less about our issues but I may be wrong.
I also don’t share my wins/happiness with people mostly because I don’t want them to have the false notion that my life is all milk and honey. I’m not really happy on most days and I since I don’t share my problems with people, I don’t want to share my happy days with them either since they’ll get the notion that I’m always happy and I’ve made it in life. Some people argue that we’re not responsible for how we make others feel so we should share what we ant on social media and not care about how it makes others feel but I think we are responsible for how we make others feel. Again I think this is a discussion for another blog post.
So to conclude,
Be one less chain that people have to deal with. I believe it would make their lives better.
I’m writing this while listening to Unfaithful by Rihanna. I guess there’s some relation with this blogpost and that song. I just think we should try to make people’s lives better by not draining them with our issues.
I’ll very much love to know what other people think about this subject so please feel free to contact me and we’ll have an awesome discussion about it (I promise I’m not boring).