Issues: Everybody’s got ’em

I like being a sociable person. I like talking with my friends. I like having food with my friends. I like studying with my friends.

But I don’t like to involve others in my problems. I like to be along in my times of weakness.

I had dinner with a friends who talked to me about that very issue. We had been in and out of contact for a while, so it was nice to finally see her. After dinner, we were talking about the stresses of life after school, especially pertaining to her status as an international student. Without going into much detail, she admitted the reason she hadn’t seen many of her friends was because she was stressed about being able to work in the US as a citizen and that getting citizenship would be difficult. Her thesis was that in her times of weakness, stress, or difficulty, she tends to shut out people and try to deal with her problems by herself.

I see that in myself a lot. I don’t like to talk about issues. Sure, they exist, and I’m sure others around me know they exist, but I hate talking about them. I’m not even sure why I do. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to see like someone with “issues.” Perhaps it’s because I want to come off as responsible, as someone who has stuff under control. I have problems admitting to little problems; having bad habits such as procrastination, excessive expenditure of personal funds, and even inheren, out of my control things like learning disabilities. I don’t know why, but I don’t like to talk about or seek help from outside sources about these things.

I also realized that I haven’t been taking advantage of the wisdom of some of my friends. When I was talking to my friend tonight, I couldn’t help but remember another friend express regret about using my friends more in a professional role. I was thinking the same thing with the exception of not taking advantage of her wisdom. She’s been through a lot, confronted the same types of problems that the rest of us humans confront, and is extremely intelligent to top it off. I’m glad she shared some of that with me tonight, because it seems like a confrontation with my isolationist perspective on personal issues was long overdue.

Just on a final note, I hope things go well for her in the future. And I hope after tonight I’ll be more willing to be open with my friends.

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