7 Tips on Finding the Courage to Open Up

keeping things to yourself

People are quite sensitive by nature, but only a few of us actually ‘show it.’ The reason we usually prefer to keep things to ourselves and to ‘deal with our own baggage’ is because we are scared that others may judge us or consider us weak. However, sometimes it is essential to open up, whether it be to your spouse, your family, your friends or your therapist. It is important to be honest and direct about your struggles – you cannot get help from others unless you let them know that you need it, and that is usually the most difficult part, since it takes a lot of courage. Here are seven tips on finding the courage to open up:

1. Know What You’re Feeling 

The first and perhaps most important step toward finding the courage you need to open up is to identify and name your emotion. You will need to explain your feelings and emotions to the person you are opening up to, and it’s truly challenging to name the emotion that you feel deep inside. If you are able to do that, you will see that other people will find it a lot easier to understand and accept the things you have to say. We connect with others through emotions and language.

2. Spend More Time Together

Another important thing you need to do if you want to open up to someone is to spend more time with that person. Not only will you feel more familiar with them, but you will also learn their reactions, making it a lot easier to find common ground. People react differently to unusual or even shocking news, and when you spend more time with the one who is about to receive the news, you will create an emotional and mental connection with them, meaning that it will be slightly more difficult for them to react negatively. All you have to do is to set up a specific day and time when you would like to meet with the person – you can play sports, work out, eat dinner together and just enjoy the pleasant activities that make you feel close.

3. Never Expect Anyone to Read Your Mind 

This is one of the most common mistakes we tend to make when we try to open up to someone. People are not mind-readers, and we all know how complex the human mind and emotions can get. Not even those who have been close to you for decades are able to know what’s going on in your mind, and you should never expect them to be able to. It’s important to not have any set expectations from the other person, since this will help to prevent disappointment. Nobody knows for sure what you want, and only a few people are even curious to find out. Share your experiences, emotions, desires and plans with the other person, rather than waiting for them to guess what is happening deep inside you. Even if they want to read your mind, they simply can’t – and they may even misinterpret your feelings, which can cause even more harm.

4. Try to Let the Other Person Take the Lead 

One of the easiest ways to share something personal is to actually let the other person take the lead by putting the ball in their court, so to speak. This will offer you deeper insight into their way of thinking. If they are wondering how you’re feeling, let the other person ask the questions, since it is sometimes much easier to answer a precise question than to start talking about something in a sort of monologue. You will find your words a lot easier to come by when answering specific questions. However, it is very important to note that people react differently, and this approach may not always be the best one – just try broaching the subject of what you’d like to discuss and see if the person’s natural curiosity takes over.

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