- People take cues from you on how to respond to what you share.
People may mirror how you come across to them. For instance, if you seem upset or uncomfortable, whomever you are talking with may try to comfort you or console you. Or, they may feel sad too or even confused.
And, if you seem positive and confident, they may talk with you more and feel comfortable asking you more questions.
Remember, you can set the tone of the conversations you have and the topics, too.
- Practice makes perfect: Practice sharing by talking with you parents or doctor
The more comfortable you feel discussing this stuff with your parents or with your doctor, the easier it will be for you to talk with friends or partners (boyfriends or girlfriends) about it. It’s all about figuring out the best way to share whatever it is you want to share. For more tips on sharing with boyfriends and girlfriends, check out Taking the Wheel-In Your Relationships.
- The bathroom is a great place
If you feel like you want a ‘time out’ or some alone time to catch your breath and manage your own reaction to sharing, go to the bathroom and take some deep breaths. Having a little space after you share (or even while you’re sharing) can help you.
- Sharing is a gift—You never quite know the reaction you’ll get
It can feel like a lot is on the line when you are sharing with someone. We like to think about sharing as a gift we give to someone, to help them understand you and your experience a bit more.
We never know how they will take it. What we can learn is to not apologize for who we are or our stories. Own your experiences and work to love yourself unconditionally, no matter what the reaction of the people you tell.
- Pay attention to who is trustworthy and who isn’t
When talking to friends, focus on sharing with friends you feel are trustworthy. Generally, it’s good to focus on the friends you know who don’t talk about others or gossip about your other friends. You deserve to have people in your life who are trustworthy.