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Started by xbod72 on Jul 23, 2020 4:31:46 PM
Do you feel empathetically concerned about sharing upsets and anxieties of a certain sort?

Sometimes I am upset or anxious about something and consider that it might be good to share it in order to be soothed. However, it then occurs to me that a probable or possible result might be that I infect the other person or people with the same concern so I keep quiet.

It won't happen if the thing is specific to me but I'm talking about when it's something so everyday that the anxiety would be broadly applicable.

I just wondered if anyone else censors themselves for the same reason.

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saskia - 24 Jul 2020 13:03:20 (#1 of 39)

The only time this has happened is if I am feeling fearful about something about to happen, and I have to go through it in some way, then I would shut up about it, as it would just make it worse, and yes, may spread the fear. If it's particular to me, then I see no reason why not to share, if you feel comfortable about it. My problem with sharing stuff like that is that I may not get the response I want and it may make it worse.

Winner - 24 Jul 2020 13:10:55 (#2 of 39)

Do you feel empathetically concerned about sharing upsets and anxieties of a certain sort?

I have been experiencing the sensation recently that reality could simply dissolve away because there's nothing really holding it together, or that existence is a sham of some kind. Is that the sort of thing you mean?

tasselhoff - 24 Jul 2020 13:17:33 (#3 of 39)

I'm still convinced society is fucked and we'll be lucky for a stable culture to last another generation. But what you gonna do?

Apart from trying to make your own existence more resilient

tasselhoff - 24 Jul 2020 13:18:33 (#4 of 39)

I'm just less ostentatiously oh crap, we're all doomed than I used to be.

Tricyrtis - 24 Jul 2020 14:05:12 (#5 of 39)

still convinced society is fucked

Same here and have been for a long time, but don't talk about it in public, only with those who are clearly on the same page.

As for sharing upsets and anxieties, with certain people I definitely censor myself. I know that what I tell them will have them in fits of angst, especially if there's nothing they can do about whatever it is.

WibbleAgain - 24 Jul 2020 14:22:18 (#6 of 39)

Sharing is an intimate thing. They say a burden shared is a burden halved. The question is to whom you should off load half your burden.

It's about appropriateness and responsibility. I wouldn't share things/problems with people who can't handle them, such as children or very young people, or very old/ill/frightened/vulnerable people. Or off load to people I consider shouldn't share my burden.

I have the perfect off loading method: prayer. I off load my problems and burdens with God/Goddess/The Universe, and use them as therapists who are always on duty. I've absolutely no idea if God/Goddess exist but the method works.

GyratingTrampoline - 24 Jul 2020 14:30:59 (#7 of 39)

let's just hope God/Goddess/The Universe isn't susceptible to being infected with other people's angst!

xbod72 - 24 Jul 2020 17:27:59 (#8 of 39)

I have been experiencing the sensation recently that reality could simply dissolve away because there's nothing really holding it together, or that existence is a sham of some kind. Is that the sort of thing you mean?



No, because I'd welcome those outcomes :)

Thanks for your replies, all.

WibbleAgain - 24 Jul 2020 22:08:23 (#9 of 39)

In my last post I said

I wouldn't share things/problems with people who can't handle them, such as children or very young people, or very old/ill/frightened/vulnerable people.

because as a very small child (like from 4 years old) my mother used me as therapist and told me all (may not be all in actual fact, but tons more than a child could possibly handle) her owes. In mid life, in therapy I realised I took on her woes which were deeply imprinted on me. A lot of the pain that I was accessing and releasing in later life had roots all the way back to her pains.

When I had cancer, not only I got unwanted advice - along side with loving support - I also got other people off loading their own problems coping with cancer of their loved ones, who had since died of the cancer that I had. Needless to say that's the last thing I needed. At times I had to tell them to stop and tell them bluntly I wasn't in a position to be their therapist.

My daughter is very sensitive, empathetic and loving, and tends to take on other people's problems. I am very careful to not off load on her, however inviting she may seem, given my own background.

I think boundaries are very important for everyone's mental health.

GyratingTrampoline - 24 Jul 2020 22:20:30 (#10 of 39)

I understand that. My parents filled me and my siblings with fear of nuclear annihilation and I'm trying to shield my kids from the worst knowledge of climate change etc at least while they're small

WibbleAgain - 24 Jul 2020 22:38:00 (#11 of 39)

It's good to encourage young children to be responsible and loving to the environment, but they don't need to be told of the gloom and doom that the adults experience/perceive. They can find out for themselves the scientific facts when they're old enough. Who knows, when they're grown up things may have improved.

Children process input very differently, and they soak up the emotional content of any situation more than the adults, rather than simply process the verbal inputs. Often the unspoken or denied underlying tensions in a situation/household manifest in unexpected tantrums or problems in children.

Pinkgum - 24 Jul 2020 22:59:04 (#12 of 39)

I share quite a lot, I do try and not share too much of the more triggering/relentless stuff, not sure how successful I am (polite feedback welcome).

Personally I have received a lot of support on here through sharing.

WibbleAgain - 24 Jul 2020 23:24:29 (#13 of 39)

On here it's different from irl. We're not collared and made to listen to stuff. We click and read a thread or post by choice, and decide to post in reply/support or otherwise, or we can simply click and scroll and go away. As we don't know each other in real life, we don't take it on board in the same way either.

saskia - 25 Jul 2020 11:37:22 (#14 of 39)

I am not sure I agree with you, Wibble. We all get affected by other people's words, and if not, why are there are so many rows here? We often don't understand how what we are saying will impact on another. True, we can click and go away, but sometimes what we're talking about may emotionally impact on someone else.

Bod, are you talking about online and irl?

uranrising - 25 Jul 2020 11:38:10 (#15 of 39)

Apart from the wise things already said, if I am choosing to share problems, I want to feel safe in doing so. Come to think of it, that does mean thinking of those you're considering sharing it with, too - taking them into consideration. It's not straightforward; maybe it will turn out in reality that they have broad enough shoulders not to be devastated by what you say.

Further, another beneficial consequence, apart from being soothed, is to feel somewhat unburdened. There may be a potentially heavy price to pay for keeping problems to oneself, and a massive relief to be experienced through sharing.

There may also be a mutual benefit. That can result from you and whoever you're sharing with to discover that you both have that problem or difficulty, and that, surprise, surprise, no, you are not the only one with it.

That can, in itself, a wonderful revelation, following the thought, 'And there I was thinking I was the only one, that I was alone with this.'

tasselhoff - 25 Jul 2020 11:51:26 (#16 of 39)

I don't regret not censoring myself when I started the "Going to Rehab" threads. The support, generosity and vulnerability on display was heart-warming.

WibbleAgain - 25 Jul 2020 11:56:01 (#17 of 39)

Support threads are great. People can choose to read them or not, and to offer help/advice/support/counter-sharing as they see fit. There are good reasons they're off googling and barred from trolls.

The internet is very much caveat emptor. You do what you do and you take the consequences. You soon learn what to click on and what to avoid.

xbod72 - 26 Jul 2020 11:39:49 (#18 of 39)

Bod, are you talking about online and irl?



Mainly online but that's only because I tend to seek advice or share problems online rather than with people in real life, though I have been doing the latter a bit more this last year.

saskia - 27 Jul 2020 14:55:42 (#19 of 39)

it won't happen if the thing is specific to me but I'm talking about when it's something so everyday that the anxiety would be broadly applicable.

e.g?

AdonisBlue - 27 Jul 2020 15:13:22 (#20 of 39)

Sharing anxieties with real people close to you puts them in perspective. It also helps to remember how you felt when you are young 'I'll never turn into one of those old people moaning about how modern society is terrible' is a useful memory.

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