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Solving The Reluctance Problem

Updated on April 28, 2019

Reluctant: feeling or showing aversion, hesitation, or unwillingness {as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary}

One of the problems many people face when trying something new is being reluctant. This is natural of course, because of the human fear of the unknown. Unfortunately, if you are reluctant about a lot of things then you will miss out on a lot in life. For example, if you are hesitant to try that new restaurant downtown you will never know about the amazing stir fry they have, and for only $10!

Being hesitant about opening up to other people is something I, among many others, are very familiar with. I have always been an emotional person and this can occasionally be overwhelming. I am blessed to have people I can confide in like my best friend, boyfriend,or mom. But sometimes I feel like I am overreacting or I have complained to much already, making me reluctant to open up again. Also when it comes to someone new in my life I am unsure whether or not they are someone I want to trust with my inner thoughts and feelings.

I would love to say that there is an easy sure-fire way to solve the problem of reluctance, but unfortunately I do not think there is. Though, there are some ways to lessen this feeling and I want to talk about some of those today.

Share more! I know I know, do not yell at me!! It seems extremely contradictory to tell someone who is afraid to open up to share more, but trust me it works. Once you start talking about your feelings you will feel less hesitant to do it again. Of course there are some occasions where opening up once can scar you from doing it again, for example if you are judged by the person you open up to. This is a situation that fits into the saying "what does not kill you makes you stronger". Yes, it might set back your progress with opening up but it should not prevent you from trying again - this time with a better confidant.

Pick a true confidant! This might be the best way to get over the reluctance to share how you feel. If you pick someone who you trust, who you know will listen without judgement, and will keep what you say confidential- there is no reason to be hesitant! Having someone that you can share even your innermost extreme thoughts with will make it easier to share much less dramatic things with others. I have experienced this growth in sharing myself throughout my teenage years. In seventh grade I met my best friend and we became inseparable. Before she moved to my school I was a fairly quiet girl and did not speak my mind often. So at the time she was definitely the opposite of me; loud, funny, expressive, and did not care what other people said. I felt like we were meant to be best friends forever so I shared everything with her. Granted in seventh grade all I really had to share was who I had a crush on that week! But because I had someone I could trust I felt more comfortable opening up in other aspects of my life. I became more talkative in class, met new people, and was more vocal about stuff I disagreed with. To this day she is one of my top confidants and I can not thank her enough for always being there for me!

Listen to your gut! Like I mentioned earlier, it can sometimes feel like your emotions are invalid or that you are overreacting to a situation. This may be true occasionally, for me especially around my time of the month I tend to blow my emotions out of proportion. BUT it is important to realize when you are not exaggerating, when your gut feeling is correct. If you feel secure in your feelings and that they are valid, you will be more likely to open up about them. This will also help in your ability to explain how you feel once you do decide to share.

In conclusion, even though there is not a set way to solve the problem of reluctance there are a few things you can try. You can start sharing more, pick a trusted confidant, and listen to your gut. I hope these tips help you in knowing that it is okay to be hesitant and that many people feel that way, but that there are many benefits in making the effort to open up. Keeping your feelings pushed far down and having no outlet to express them is not good for your mental health. In order to experience the best things in life you have to take RISKS. One of these might be as simple as opening up and getting over your fear to do so. Or it could be something as crazy as skydiving, I have heard that is extremely risky (and reluctance is expected)!

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