by Sibyl McLendon
How do you react when you have a problem? Do you reach out for help or do you withdraw? Do you accept the comfort and support of others, or do you clam up and put up walls?
Most likely, when a loved one comes to you with a problem you do not turn your back on him or her. You probably try to help in any way that you can. Who wants to see a friend or loved one depressed or sad? Even if it is just listening quietly while they talk about what is wrong, I suspect that you will offer the ear. But what happens when you are depressed or sad? What do you do then? Hopefully, you reach out for some comfort.
However, I have met a lot of very caring people who are not very good at accepting the very same comfort that they easily extend to others. They somehow feel that they should be able to handle everything that life throws at them without so much as a momentís assistance from anyone. They feel that they should be strong, be in control and never need that comforting ear themselves.
It is just as important to receive, as it is to give! I know that sounds selfish, but in reality it isnít. When you are incapable of allowing the people around you to give you comfort and support when you need it, you are actually being quite selfish. Just as much as you want to help a friend when they have a problem; that is how much your friend wants to help you as well. When you put up walls and deny your friend a chance to help, it makes your friend feel useless and shut out. Few things are more frustrating that being unable to help a troubled friend when they need it.
Curling up in a ball and hanging on to negative feelings and problems is unhealthy. In one way, it is as if you are saying that you are not a good enough person to deserve comfort at this time. In another way, it is telling the people around you that they are somehow not good enough to share your problems with.
I urge you to reconsider this position. If you shut people out, you hurt yourself and you hurt them. Give it a try. The next time that you are going through a rough time, turn to a friend or a loved one for some comfort, if not advice. The rewards are there for everyone concerned. Donít deny yourself the comfort of a helping hand.