Our Problems Aren’t Unique


Our Problems Aren't Unique

I have a hard time opening up.

There’s this thought in my head that keeps popping up every time I want to spill my guts. It tells me not to even dare say anything that will make me appear weak.

It urges me to keep it all in. It hints that if I let let my problems be known, my “perfect” image loses some of its sheen.

And often I’ll listen.

But on occasion, I’ll play the rebel. Screw it. Let’s risk it, I’ll say to myself.

I discuss what’s on my mind and talk about what’s got me down. I blurt out the relevant details, talk about how it affects me, and my chest feels just a bit lighter, for a second, but secretly I’m afraid there will be repercussions and laughter at my own expense.

I wince and prepare to be ridiculed for being flawed. Imperfect.

Yet it never comes. No laughter and certainly no negative remarks or the shaming of a lifetime that I’ve always dreaded.

What happens almost every time instead is the exact opposite of what I’d been so afraid of.

The other person chimes in with a shared experience. They’ve been there too. Sometimes they’ll be currently going through the exact same thing at the exact same time as me.

I was never at risk at being cast as an outsider. No matter what I’m going through in the present moment, someone else has been there. I was never alone.

Believe it or not, none of our struggles are unique. Since we live through only one set of eyes, we forget that others feel pain, fear, and regret too.

None of us have problems that have never existed before.

We’re all in it together. Everyone around you has survived and persevered through every single setback throughout their life. Don’t you think you’ll be okay too?

Don’t be afraid to be real. You’re never alone.

The following two tabs change content below.
Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

Latest posts by Vincent Nguyen (see all)

12 responses to Our Problems Aren’t Unique

  1. Thank you.
    These words came at the most appropriate time.

  2. I’m glad you have had a positive experience. I feel sad for men as I feel they are expected to always be strong, not show emotions, stiff upper lip as they say, this is so wrong.
    However, I have not had positive experiences when I have let myself be vulnerable. I’ve found that some people take advantage of my openness and I am very guarded now. Yes we all tread the same path of pain and disappointment but the reactions we get are very different. I hope you continue to be open and release your pent up emotions and receive positive feedback.

    • A critical part of this is timing. Knowing the proper moment to allow yourself to open up is what will make all the difference.

      For example, if I’m at a party where everyone’s having a great time chatting, laughing, and joking around, I wouldn’t want to be a buzzkill by bringing up something moody and heavy. That’s inappropriate.

      However, if I’m talking one on one with a friend, it’s very easy to “feel” when a good time to bring something more serious up is.

  3. Yes of course one has to pick the right time and place and indeed the right person. It’s a tricky one really as there area a lot of people who will use the opportunity to control you once they know what your achiles heel is. I’ve been there many times. Perhaps I’ve been unlucky.
    Some years ago I took a course in T A and it certainly opened my eyes. To some extent it was good because being aware gives you a choice. However, it certainly removes the Rose coloured glasses.

    • If you’ve had bad experiences in the past I certainly would encourage you to remain open about being open. Being closed off and keeping it all to yourself makes things significantly more difficult. Speaking from experience there.

  4. Beautiful words! We all have our problems! But we know we can solve it.

  5. I love reading your blog because you are real, no bullshit. I usually relate to what you write because I am usually going through the same stuff. My example, my parent didn’t talk about anything, lots of secrets, so I just bury the things I am going through. This year has been very difficult for me, I have thoughts many times of running away because it was to much for me to cope with. I have slowly learned to talk to people and open up about what is bothering me.

    • Hey Sandra, I’m not going to lie, I’ve thought about running away from home a few times as a kid too. I wasn’t very happy with my home life as I lived with my very strict grandparents.

      But I can very easily look back and see that if I had gone through with it then I would’ve very much regretted it. It would’ve damaged a lot of relationships with my family and put a strain that would’ve been difficult to come back from.

      It’s almost never worth it. You’ll get through it, but running from your problems is never the answer.

  6. I stumbled upon your site about an hour ago and have been reading through your posts. This one has meant the most to me so far.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>