Why Do We Hide Our Pain?

"Suffer in Silence" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Suffer in Silence” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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Why do we hide our pain? Here are just a few:

1. We are ashamed because we think it makes us look weak.
2. We don’t want people to think we aren’t getting over it fast enough.
3. We don’t want to be a downer on those around us.
4. We are doubtful anyone will understand.
5. We have not had success finding a good listener.
6. We want to share without people trying to rescue or fix us.
7. We are embarrassed by our own complicity in the cause of our pain.
8. We don’t want to be accused of complaining, whining or bitterness.
9. We know from experience that people are dismissive of pain that can’t be seen.
10. We ourselves underestimate our own pain.

Of course, the antidote to this huge problem is to cure it in ourselves:

1. Don’t shame people.
2. Give people time.
3. Let people be sad around you.
4. Be more empathetic.
5. Just listen.
6. Don’t try to fix people.
7. Don’t judge people.
8. Recognize complaint as legitimate.
9. Know that some of the worst pain is invisible.
10. Value the experience of others.

Easy.

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