Please Don't Tell
In polite society, I am told, some topics of conversation are off-limits, namely religion, politics and sex. Sure, in informal gatherings or one-on-one, all topics are fair game -- or are they?
What could be so potentially disastrous to discuss that many people never broach the subject, even with their nearest and dearest friends? What could the disaster be if such conversations took place?
As you might guess, most of what remains unsaid has negative connotations, whether the topic itself is actually negative or not. Addiction of any sort, whether of oneself or a loved one; being the recipient or caring for someone who is a recipient of abuse or neglect; having or loving someone with a diagnosed mental health issue; poverty and more.
To speak of any of these things is to open yourself to criticism, ridicule, being ostracized or pitied. Somehow to speak of these concerns or experiences some how makes us less that the person to whom we are speaking.
These are just some of the rationale that keep people silent. How do you talk about your feelings, your concerns without feeling more vulnerable than before you spoke? Will there be understanding on the part of the listener? Will you be able to verbally express your thoughts?
In order for our friends and family to feel safe enough to talk about anything, we have to have projected that we are non-judgmental, open to new ideas, willing to hear the other side. We have to demonstrate that we will honor confidences, no matter the size and refrain from giving advice when none is sought. This is a tall order. I struggle with it mightily, but hope that should anyone I encounter have the need to be heard, they will find me a safe haven.
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