How often do you share your fears?
Quite recently (February and March) I only shared a few of my fears to a partner. I thought that if I’d share my inner-most fears they would certainly come true, which in itself is a fear now that I think of it. A fear I had was telling another person I might had developed some feelings for them, I say might because I was unsure since it was a weird and not recognizable feeling. I feared that if I shared this with them they wouldn’t want to hang around with me any longer.
The previous month was the total opposite. I shared more fears than in a year. I still have fears to share, but not as many and what I found, and had read and heard before in various places, is that your fears don’t seem as scary when you uncover them and the response is often positive or neutral. Steve Pavlina mention this in a podcast once. Paraphrasing: It seems that your fears are just toying with you, once you uncover them it’s like they say “just kidding”. I concur, when I actually share them they don’t feel that scary even if they were to come true.
As I’m feeling rather inspired at the moment I’m challenging myself to share some of my fears with you. Some of these I’ve only shared to one or two people before.
- I have a fear of being seen as too needy when I meet someone interesting. I’m very interested in people and their stories and I generally like people even on a deeper level. I easily fall in love (not deeply in love). If there’s someone new I’ve met that seems like an awesome person that I feel interested in somehow I really want to meet that person again, often quite soon. But I’m afraid to just say so, that I really want to hang out with them. Maybe they will feel to pressured or something, even though I really don’t have any expectations, it just would be fun. This usually means I’m more reserved in my communication to new people. I would really want to come across as it doesn’t really matter but it would be really awesome. I.e. I’m afraid to scare people away by being genuine and expressing myself.
- I have a fear of girls, or rather when I feel attracted to a girl I have a fear of being genuine, that they won’t like me as I am. I think it’s rooted in some problems I had when I was 9-16 and maybe stretching up to 22. There was some minor but many occasions that there seemed that no girl ever liked me—now I know that feelings and reality are two separate things. This made me come to a conclusion in my early teens that no girls would ever like me, which is why talking to girls if I were interested in them felt like a huge struggle. “Why would they ever want to talk to me?” “What do I have to offer?” I’ve become a lot better the last couple of years. The way I’ve conquered this is really seeing that there actually exists girls that like me 🙂 and by switching mindset into feeling that I don’t need anything and don’t set any expectations. Not to say that I still don’t have this fear, I still do and I would really want to get rid of it for good or at least that it doesn’t limit me when I really want to be genuine or spontaneous.
- I have a huge fear of being alone, having no friends and no family. Actually being abandoned by friends, family and partners is a greater fear. Abandoned can be anything from rejecting who I am to disappearing from my life suddenly. Drifting in different directions isn’t a fear because that happens gradually and not suddenly.
- The dark. I don’t like the dark. I don’t really have a problem walking around in the dark or having it dark at home. Being alone in dark cellars though is quite scary. When I was a child (read around 4-6) I tried to cure this fear by going into the darkest and inner-most room we had in the cellar, which by coincidence also had a freezer which gave away weird sounds. Can’t say that experiment helped one bit, I got more scared the longer I stayed in that room 😛
- I’m afraid of being bad at sex. This one comes and goes, it really depends on my mood, self-confidence and self-esteem. But basically not being able to please the other person. If this fear pops up in my head, it usually during sex which as you probably can guess doesn’t make things easier :P. Having a great and supportive partner has helped enormously and I’m very close to being sexually free with this partner 😀 A similar, but greater fear is not getting and then staying hard, I guess it’s not getting wet for girls. I had some huge problems with this before, especially with condoms since I got so self-aware when I was going to put it on. Thankfully condoms aren’t a problem at all. I’m a solution-oriented person so I came up with a simple solution: Whenever I masturbated by myself I put on a condom when I got hard, this was sort of practicing so it wouldn’t be a distraction during sex; worked like a charm just after 4-6 times 🙂 I still have the fear of not being hard though. I found that it helps getting to know my body and what triggers I have to easily get hard again. “Helps” would be an understatement, it’s my lifeline, if I want to get hard it feels like I always know how now (even though it doesn’t always work). I don’t know if it’s because of the technique, because relax my mind, or both that this works, but it works 🙂 If I’m in a position, not just physically, to trigger myself.
- Sharing thoughts and things I’ve done that I’m most ashamed of. I don’t really know were to begin, but this is really something that’s extremely hard, at least for me. Only one person knows my inner-most shames. I was really scared when I revealed them, but I’m glad I did. I know they still love me even because of these things I don’t want anyone to know about. This really ties together a lot with number 3, being abandoned because I shared something I was ashamed of. A sidenote: I just remembered one thing I easily shared with my partner that I was ashamed of. I didn’t reflect on it then because it seemed so natural, had it been to another person I wouldn’t have said it.
Maybe I’ve shared too many fears lately, it’s becoming increasingly easy to write about them; sharing them face to face is totally another story though 😛
Being vulnerable is a precious gift to those around you (and lots of open questions)
So what am I trying to prove? This is a question to myself… Maybe that everyone has fears and we they are quite similar? If you hear someone speaking about their inner-most fears, how would you react? I usually come to respect the person more for opening up and I feel more connected to the them. Sure it can depends on how and when they share these fears. On a whim or in a deep conversation, when I’m listening or when I’m angry and defensive.
Anyhow I’m always grateful when someone shares something with me. In one sense I feel like I’m receiving a precious gift (trust and connection) when you share your fears. Now that’s a view I had before that I’ve come to forget, at least when I’m on the sharing end. The more you share about yourself to other people the more you’re giving away. Now everything isn’t a gift; is sharing your day a gift? Maybe to a few. What if something funny happened? Maybe to quite a lot. What if something really bad happened? Maybe to more than a few. I guess it really depends on how you share it. Do you share it to get attention? Which I think is a valid thing to do when you need attention. Do you share it simply for sharing or do you share it as a gift? What’s the difference?
My guess is that sharing things you really care about. It could be happy and fun things, but I think being vulnerable and sharing this vulnerability is what makes people feel connected to you. As Facebook and other social media is full of happy, fun, and almost perfect lives I guess it’s a nice contrast having someone who is genuine and shows all sides of themselves. This was and still isn’t as easy to do as it sounds, not for me, not face to face. I used to be an extremely closed person who neither talked about feelings nor opened up to anyone really. What transformed me was personal development project or several projects in fact; it also helped that I was tired of not feeling connected to people. I guess this will be my next post. How I was before, the transformation, and afterwords.
If you’re feeling the least bit inspired, take action and open up to one person about one thing. It doesn’t have to be huge, it doesn’t have to be face to face. If you don’t know how to start or lead into it. Just start with “Hi, I’m not really sure about this but I’m going to say it anyway. You’re a really great sister.” or “Hi, I just read an inspiring post about sharing your fears and I would want to share one with you. You don’t have to say or do anything really; if you want to great, if you don’t want to great too, just listening is enough. I’m afraid that no one understands me.”
Please comment if you disagree with something, want to share your own fears or just say you like what I’ve written 🙂
Have an awesome weekend! 😀
Hugs from Matteus