When one feels comfortable with their own feelings, it will give them the ability to open up to others. In fact, it could be said that it will be normal for this to take place, and this is going to mean that their relationships are likely to be far more fulfilling than they would be if this wasn’t the case.
This is not to say that they will open up to everyone they know, as they are likely to realise that this is not something that will always be appropriate. While there will be people who will be able to hear what they have to say; there will be others who won’t.
Another way of looking at this would be say that just because one feels comfortable in their own house; it doesn’t mean that they will have anyone inside. They will know that it is important for them to look after their own property.
If one was to simply let anyone inside, it would be the same as them opening up to someone without seeing if it is safe for them to do so. What this comes down to is that not only can their properly be harmed, they can also be harmed.
When it comes to the people they do open up to, this could relate to family, friends and their partner if they have one. These will be people who they feel comfortable with and this means there will be no reason for them to not open up.
And as one can open up to them, it will also mean that they will also be able to open up about what is taking place for them. If this wasn’t the case, the relationship they have with the other person would be out of balance.
Out of Balance
Whereas if one expected other people to listen to what they have to say but they were unwilling to return the favour, they would be out of balance. It might then be normal for other people to describe them as being self-absorbed.
Through behaving in this way, one would be saying that they are more important than others and this is why they don’t need to listen to them. Another way of looking at it would be to say that they are so caught up in their own life, that they don’t think about how others are doing; this may also show that they lack empathy.
Give and Take
Through being there for someone else, they are showing that they not only value what they have to say, but that they value them as a person. One is then no better or worse than them; they are on the same level.
This is not to say there won’t be moments where one listens to someone more than they listen to them or vice versa, as this is part of life. But overall, there will be moments where one gives and moments where they take.
However, even though this will be the ideal scenario, it doesn’t mean that this is something that always takes place. Instead, one can be in a position where they are always there for others but other people are rarely there for them.
One can then come to the conclusion that they are less like a friend or lover, for instance, and that they are more like a parent. And because they give so much, they can end up feeling as though they are running on empty.
On The Surface
Based on how they behave, other people can believe that they are only too happy to be there for them, but if they were to take a deeper look, they may find that there is more than meets the eye. At a deeper level, they may carry a lot of anger and even rage, and it could be said that this is to be expected.
Therefore, the image that they present to the world can be radically different to what is actually taking place for them. Yet even though they feel this way, it doesn’t mean that they will feel comfortable enough to let other people know.
Out of Control
Having said that, they could have moments where they lose their temper and the other person might wonder what they have done wrong. Some kind of discussion could take place, but it might only be a matter of time before everything returns to how it was before.
Along with this, one may also find that they end up feeling guilty for speaking out and as a result of this; they can then feel the need to please the other person. This is likely to come down to the fact that they don’t feel comfortable with their own needs.
They can believe that the only way for them to get their needs met is to focus on other people’s needs. And while this may be something that works from time to time, it is not going to allow them to get their needs met on a regular basis.
So until they are able to feel comfortable with their own needs, they are not going to open up to others and it is then going to be a challenge for them to experience intimacy. What they can be used to is being around people who are caught up in their own life.
If they were to open up and to express their own needs, they may believe that they would end up being abandoned by others. This can come down to the fact that they can feel as though they are inherently flawed and if other people were to find this out, they would end up walking away from them.
The pain they experience through not getting their needs met is then going to pale in comparison to the pain they would experience if they were to open up. And unless this changes, they will continue to ignore their own needs and to focus on other people’s needs.
When one experiences life in this way, it is likely to come down to what happened during their childhood years. During this time, their needs would have been ignored and they would take care of their caregivers needs.
In order for one to move forward, it might be necessary for them to reach out for assistance, and this can be provided by a therapist and/or a support group. This can be a time where one will need to grieve their unmet childhood needs, discharge the toxic shame within them and to receive the positive regard that they missed out on during their early years.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.