Think about all the times you had something you wanted to share and you held back. It could have been that small, but big-to-you victory. Maybe it was the bad day at work that came out of nowhere. Maybe it was the time you felt overwhelmed, lost, rejected…or completely thrilled with the path before you.
We do that, don’t we? Keep things in when we know they’d be so much better shared with and supported by someone else.
One of the biggest benefits of growing into the person you want to be, is accepting that talking it out with a friend is always, always one of the best places you can go to make sense of whatever it is you’re facing.
Talking out our troubles with friends doesn’t always erase our pain or free us from our challenges, but it gives us a completely new lens from which to see what’s there before us.
Sometimes this is harder for people who move around a lot. But, it doesn’t have to be. Deeper connection comes from taking the leap to share with others. As expats we’re often forced to dive into relationships very quickly. Rather than worrying about who we will scare off, I think we benefit from focusing on who we’ll grow closer to.
But there is no doubt it can be difficult. Even when we know the benefits of fully and honestly connecting, the hesitation we feel about reaching out and the old belief that we shouldn’t bother people with our problems (or brag about our successes) can be hard to overcome.
It occurs to me that sometimes all we need is the very first step and when it comes to talking it out with our friends – the very first step involves…well…talking.
It can be as simple as saying (or texting):
“Are you free to talk?”
“I’m celebrating! Join me for a drink?”
“Have a minute?”
“I could use an ear, are you free?”
“I’d love to bounce something off you, can I give you a call?”
“Are you free for coffee? I could really use a friend to talk to?”
“I don’t want to feel like I’m unloading on you, but I could really use someone to talk to. Are you free?”
Yes – that is actually just a list of words to get you started. It's totally something you could have come up with on your own. But – it is both not-rocket-science and totally overwhelming at times. Having that list up there is my way of reminding you that you already have the tools...you just gotta' use them. If you’ve been struggling to connect – take a minute to imagine what would happen if you committed to using one (just one) of these in the next few days.
Write down your favorite phrase. Use the ones above to plan out your own words to get you started. Practice in the mirror if you have to.
And then, whether it’s a major accomplishment or a tiny, little, barely-there frustration – go ahead and reach out.
You won't regret it!