They say a problem shared is a problem halved, but not always. When you tell your problems to the wrong person it can become a problem multiplied. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I explain why you have to be careful who you tell your problems to and some of the reasons why people don’t respond as fairly, empathetically and compassionately as we hope and expect. I also talk about some of the hidden motivations that cause us to set ourselves up for a fall.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • We share our problems for a variety of reasons, including…
    • To feel seen and heard
    • Connect with likeminded people
    • To let off steam, vent
    • Because we want empathy or sympathy
    • Looking for acknowledgment, recognition and validation of your efforts or that you’re a Good Person
    • We want the person to offer help or support
    • We want the person to take responsibility
    • Looking for feedback or solutions
  • Some people misinterpret you telling them your problems as a sign of weakness. It’s as if to suggest that you are weak because you have problems in the first place. Or it’s as if only “weak people” have problems or talk about them to others. Some people misinterpret you telling them your problems as a sign of weakness. It’s as if to suggest that you are weak because you have problems. As if to suggest that only weak people have problems or talk about it.
  • Although Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus says it’s men, people seem to associate people talking about their problems as “I have to help you” or “I have to provide a solution.” As a result, sometimes disclosing our problems goes badly because the person gets mad because they think they’re obliged to help or support. Or they get mad because you didn’t do things Their Way.
  • There are other reasons why we share our problems and sometimes with a particular person: hidden agendas. These include reminding ourselves of why we don’t like somebody, giving them an opportunity to prove they’re empathetic, trustworthy etc., after previously showing that they’re not, and self-sabotage. Hidden agendas set us (and others) up to fail and play a big role in the upset and hurt that results when we share with the wrong person or, yes, for the wrong reason.
  • Know your why so that you don’t keep walking into the same trap. By accepting people for who they are and operating within the sweet spot of your relationship, you can gain the much-needed discernement to ascertain who you can share your problems with.

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