Why is it hard for some people to share their struggles over stress with others? I have friends that wear their emotions on their sleeves. It is easy to see when they are stressed. They will share their frustrations with close friends and peers to be able to get the support needed. It helps them get through the tough stressful situations in their lives.
Others, however, do not share with anyone. Do you know how you react to stress? Are you consistent with your response to stressful situations? Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways peopl respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress:
Foot on the gas – An angry or agitated stress response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
Foot on the brake – A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.
Foot on both – A tense and frozen stress response. You “freeze”under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralyzed, but under the surface you’re extremely agitated.
In this blog, I want to look at the “Foot on the brake” personality. I know this
personality because it is where I find myself. You do not want to share your stress
with anyone. This could be for a variety of reasons. I think pride plays a big part in it. You feel that someone that is strong would not need support from anyone.
They can handle all situations on their own. You put on this false front to the world that everything is alright even though on the inside you are stressed. Without seeking help, the stress continues to build. In some cases, I have felt guilty for letting myself get into stressful situations.
You are surrounded by friends and family that would love to help, if you would just open up. Admit that you are weak and share what is on your mind. Looking back at stressful times in our lives, we can see that none of them are as bad as we pictured them when going through them. If you know someone that has these tendencies and you can tell that they are having more than usual stress in their lives, be there for them. Take them to lunch or dinner to get a conversation going. The biggest thing that we all need to realize is that we do not get through all stressful situations alone. It takes support from those closest to us to handle the tough situations.
It is for these reasons, that I believe that you need to be active in your church and surround yourself with others that will provide that Christian support as needed. Maybe it is just a few more people besides yourself to lift up a prayer in your name. You need to have friends that you can have those conversations with. They are the friends that you can share everything with. They will not judge you, but just listen. And lastly, nothing beats the bond of a close family. So I ask the question again, “Who do you lean on?”