My top tips to help you open up to the people around you
THERE is something incredibly meaningful about opening up to others emotionally and sharing our thoughts and feelings. Showing our true selves, saying “this is part of me” and trusting the other person to understand and accept us can lead to deeper connections and intimacy in our relationships.
However, the thought of opening up to the people around us does involve risk and can be highly anxiety-provoking. What if the other person disagrees with what you have to say, doesn’t understand where you are coming from, mocks you or outright rejects you?
A recent study found that two thirds of people feel lonely at least some of the time. Our underlying fear of rejection is likely partly responsible for preventing us from seeking out the meaningful connections we crave.
When opening up to others, it’s important to be mindful of the specific situation so you share personal information appropriately and get the balance right. Here are my top tips for doing just that:
CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
ASK yourself, how well do I know this person and how trustworthy are they? A close friend might be happy to talk about your recent relationship problems whilst a new acquaintance might find this uncomfortable. If in doubt, start off small and build up gradually to sharing more personal information. Remember that practice makes perfect. If you’re not used to sharing your inner experiences with other people then this will feel odd and maybe even wrong at first.
PERSEVERANCE IS KEY
START by practising sharing information that is relatively “safe” emotionally, such as what you have been doing during the week. Or if that feels too hard initially, start by rehearsing in front of the mirror to give yourself practice at getting the words out.
Finally, prepare some questions to ask the other person ahead of time. That way, if sharing information about yourself starts to feel like too much, you can ask your questions and temporarily put the spotlight on them while you take a step back and regroup.
You can find more of my tips for opening up emotionally in my blog at drelliepsychology.co.uk
Sharing can be nerve-wracking
Practise sharing your thoughts in the mirror