Having the willingness and ability to have other people help you, or let them in and aware of your emotions or simply engaging in a conversation about different ideas can be difficult and full of emotional hurdles to overcome. Being truly connected to another person means letting them see where you bend, crack, fold, and also where you shine, spring up and create. I often witness people shying away from being their true self for the fear of burdening another person or being selfish or pride to name a few. It seems like being an individual and fiercely independent is something of a badge of honor to wear, yet it keeps us lonely, disconnected and empty. We then take to developing relationships with potentially unhealthy coping, by keeping secrets, over indulging, becoming inflexible to our own thoughts rather allowing other opinions in. When people do this a wall is created that separates ourselves from everyone, creating a sense of isolation and then an unwillingness to ask for help and possibly even to give it.
I remember when I was a little girl I learned a lesson that “if you don’t stick up for yourself no one else will”, which I think has the potential to lead people to advocate for themselves but another underlying message there is “don’t trust”, “don’t let other people see your weakness”, and/or “you must always fight”.
What happens when you get tired of fighting? What happens when you actually don’t want to be alone, isolated, or unwilling to ask for support. Perhaps the lesson that we all need to hear is “if you don’t stick up for yourself no one else will AND you can always ask for help”.
SO, lean on others and set healthy boundaries. Having one way or another only creates disfunction within ourselves, our relationships, our community at large. It all starts with saying “hey I want to share something” or “hey can I have some help”. If you start small, its really not that scary, and some of that stubbornness will lessen overtime and you’ll be grateful when it does.