Opening up to others and revealing intimate things takes a lot of effort – so it should be worth it. Healer Andrea Form Valde says it is. And in several respects.
Comedian Kurt Cromer is writing a book about his depression. Tennis player Naomi Osaka withdraws from the French Open for psychological reasons. Singer Demi Lovato opens up about her eating disorder. The list could go on for a long time, but let’s just say: openness is the trend. Many stars and celebrities are now admitting to problems that no one would have talked about a few years ago. For anyone who was ashamed, and who kept a secret so as not to be described or prevented (professional) opportunities.
Therapist Andrea Vorm Valde believes this is a positive trend. “When people who are in the public eye and have a role model for so many people candidly address these supposedly taboo subjects, it gives us courage to open up more, even on a small scale,” she says. Which in turn is a good thing – because most of the time there are advantages for us to tell someone.
7 Magical Things That Happen When We Open
“Once we share something with someone else we might have been dealing with on our own for a while, we feel good,” Andrea Form Valdi says. We often feel comfortable physically, noticing how the tension and anxiety subside and how we relax. This is not only fun, but also beneficial for our health.
“Trusting ourselves toward someone creates closeness and strengthens our relationship with that person,” says the therapist. By sharing something intimate with another person, we strengthen and deepen our relationship with that person. We show her our trust and respect. As a rule, this means that the other person’s trust in us also increases and they share things with us that they would not normally find easy to talk about.
“If we communicate with someone else, we get feedback on what’s on our minds,” Andrea vorm Walde says. “It allows us to take a new perspective and look at things differently.” We are already in the narration process moving away from what is at stake. We arrange it with our words and in this way we get an explanation of our own point of view. Plus, we learn how our peers see things – if only through the way they interact. Such a change of perspective usually helps and enriches us, enables us to set the record straight and allows us to view supposed dramas more relaxed.
Slightly cliched, but so important that it goes under the table: we can only get help if we open ourselves up and tell someone. And hardly anyone knows that better than Andrea Vorm Valde. “In my work, I rely on people to be honest with me,” says the therapist. Whether it’s doctors, friends, family, colleagues or partners, none of them can help us if we don’t reveal how we work and what’s on our minds. However, some of them can, in most cases, and many of them would like to.
Whether it’s problems we tell someone, uncomfortable feelings we communicate or show openly, or episodes from our past that shaped us and those around us, all of this helps others connect with us to understand how they adapt to us sensitively and appropriately. Openness makes it easier to deal with one another in a considerate and peaceful manner, and we usually do ourselves and our fellow human beings a great service by doing so.
Each time we push ourselves to open up and share, we grow and evolve in the process. We learn that when we open up and stand up for ourselves, it pays to leap over our shadows and that we are not judged but respected and loved. Plus, it’s often easier for us to let go of something and move on after we’ve talked about it and shared it with others.
“Opening up can help us tremendously in our relationships, and sometimes it’s even necessary,” Andrea Form Valdi says. Especially in very intimate relationships such as friendships or partnership, we can resolve many conflicts only by talking openly and honestly with each other and also by addressing the unpleasant things. In most cases, this action moves us forward together in the relationship and makes us a stronger team.
Is there also a lot of openness?
The points mentioned are good arguments for daring to be more open, and the vast majority of our society shares this view: According to a BRIGITTE poll, about 78 percent of Germans see it as important to be open about personal and intimate topics, and about 75 percent like openness. . But despite all the enthusiasm, it also makes sense to set and accept boundaries, especially you. “Everyone can and should decide for themselves what they want to share with who and what is good for them to keep to themselves,” Andrea Form Valde says.
Although in many areas it is very beneficial to break out of taboos and open up more – for example mental health, menstruation, finances, sexuality – it is not only for culturally specific and questionable reasons that it is sometimes not easy for us to do so. Open to us. Our caution and fears are partially justified and protect us. After all, we cannot trust everyone who enters our lives, and certain hierarchies and dependencies in our society make it impossible for us to always speak our mind openly and honestly or reveal our dreams and fantasies. And some people feel overwhelmed and stressed by being too open – not everyone wants to know everything.
In this respect, like the most beautiful things, openness is wonderful and somewhat charming, but if we overdo it, it loses its charm and can cause harm. At least we’re still far from that point.
Andrea in front of the forest A therapist, trainer, and non-medical psychotherapy practitioner. She takes care of her clients in the Hamburg clinic and on the Internet. There are also regular tips from her on her blog andreavormwalde.de
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