What can we share with friends?

Recently, I was involved in a project as part of employee wellness program in a workplace. A strategy introduced in this program is buddy network, in other word, peer support. This strategy encourage each individual to form his/her own support network where they can release their stress in a safe place without criticism or judgement.

When we conducted a evaluation of this program, many individual shared that they are uncomfortable to form this buddy network within their current workplace. It is their fear to reveal their stresses or anxiety to their colleagues/peers. In comparison, many expressed that they have their buddy at home who may be a partner, a child, or significant others.

Faced with stress, too many people feel they have nowhere to turn to, that they don’t have access to the kind of friendships or communities where they can easily and openly share their problems and worries.

Daisaku Ikeda

Opening oneself to another is not an easy task. Some people might do this naturally while others struggle to do so. Some people might share too much while others share too little. Some people might feel more stressed to share their concerns with others while others feel more stressed to keep to themselves. Obviously, it varies depending on each individual. It is up to each individual what to share, with whom, and when to share one’s life with others.

True happiness comes only through sharing in the trials and successes of other persons and of our community.

Hence, it is essential that any true conception of happiness contain the promise of full commitment to the life of the society.

Tsunesaburo Makiguchi

Sometime I feel that having a safe place where you can fully share your life struggles and successes without criticism and judgment is a privilege.

Let me share an example.
One day, I was having a last catch up with a friend who was about to leave the country. We didn’t know each other that well but somehow we were connected. During the catch up, I was sharing how I struggled about my relationship with my father. It was not a light story but she listened until the end. Then, she replied.
“Thank you so much for sharing your struggle with me. I know understand why we connected. Listening to your story, it reminded me about my own childhood experience which I totally forgot about it. When I think back now, it was a traumatic experience that is influencing my life at moment. Because you’ve shared your struggle with me, now I am aware what I am facing in my life.”

For me, it was a daily conversation I had with a friend. However, it was enough to impact on her life. This is just one of many similar experiences. Most of the time, sharing my struggle means letting others know about my weakness. However, when I courageously share my struggles, there are time when I impact on others, and in turn, I am encourage by those who were listening to me. More I share about my struggles, more I want to let those who supported me to know when I have successful overcome my weakness. For me, it is like sharing my life with others.

What are you sharing with others?
What would you like to share with others?
Are you prepared to share your life with others?

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