How to Confide in a Friend
September 28, 2011 7:59 AM Subscribe
Why does my friend want me to confide in her? What are the benefits of disclosure for oneself and for a relationship?
posted by sincerely-s to Human Relations (25 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So, I have a friend that I have known for one year now. She is a great person with many admirable traits, the kind of traits that one would look for in a friend. But based on my past experiences (family drama that's existed since my adolescence, bullied during a year in high school, and an emotionally isolating experience in first year) I have a very difficult time talking to any one (usually even my therapist) about any feelings that are emotional. I am terrified about the idea of sharing my emotions with anyone else because I fear that they won't care enough, won't provide me with the advice that I need, and more than anything else, I am terrified that they will see me in a vulnerable state by seeing me cry and won't be able to comfort me. A large part of me is also scared of being verbally attacked or not receiving good advice. I say this because I have tried to confide in my roommate whenever I need to talk to someone about "smaller" things in order to get a second opinion, but my roommate barely says anything and it feels like a one-sided conversation. Based on these experiences, I try to avoid talking to anyone about my emotions and count on myself as a support system. I realize that this is unhealthy in a sense because it's important to have someone else that you can trust. I don't have the support system that I would ideally like to have, and I realize that a large part of this is because I have a difficult time confiding in someone. I am not worried about someone leaving the friendship because I would take that as a learning experience, but I just don't know how to talk to someone about my feelings and I feel like I cannot verbally get the words out even when I want to talk about things.
This friend that I mentioned earlier in the post probes me in order to get more information and yet I still avoid talking about my problems even if I have to use a white lie in order to attempt to change the topic.
This week we were texting and I asked her if we could talk about something and she said sure and that she would call me. I told her that I changed my mind and didn't want to talk about what I was feeling and then she told me that she finds it tiring of forcing information out of me and that if I want to talk then she's available. The reason why I didn't want to talk about it was because I realized that it does not involve her (at all) and so it would be a waste of time for her to listen to me confide in her. Her message has made me realize that if I continue to avoid disclosing anything emotional (for the reasons stated above) that I will end up without a support system. I usually have a short cycle when it comes to making and keeping friends because I don't know how to disclose anything at the right time (but more often than not, I never disclose anything too in-depth besides giving very brief snippets of information when probed).
1. How do you confide in a friend?
2. Why does my friend want me to confide in her? What are the benefits of disclosure for oneself and for a relationship?