“I don’t worry about you because you’re scrappy.”
I’ve heard this or a version of this my whole adult life.
Right after I told my friends I was getting divorced:
“I’m so surprised because you looked like you had it together.”
“You’re strong. You’ll get through it.”
I should probably take this as a compliment for my amazing acting skills and ability to rebound, but I’m not.
It’s a red flag that I need to keep a close eye on. Perception is reality.
When people see me working hard and staying busy, they assume I’m racking in the dough and don’t need help.
When people see me smiling and being silly on social media, they assume I’m happy all the time
What you see is a partial truth of a much bigger picture. If you see composure, you’re less likely to reach out and check in and I’m even more guilty of not wanting to burden people with my issues.
I know logically my friends and family are there to support me, but the internal voice of “Do it Yourself. Don’t bother them.” overrides my better intentions. This is not new. I remember as a 4-year old sucking it up and ignoring discomfort. “Don’t get in the way. Don’t be a nuisance.”
Thirty years later i still feel like i get in the way, which i know couldn’t be further from the truth. I isolate myself and then feel left out when I don’t get invited.
Looking at this on a screen, I see how ridiculous it is, but it’s exactly what I coach my clients around - What we need most, we either repell or suck at asking for.
So here goes - I want help. I want support. I want feedback. I want to hear from people.
Yes this is a passive approach, but it’s a first step.