So before I start in on this article, I am going to clearly state that this is not meant to hurt anyone's feelings or make people feel uncomfortable about opening themselves up to others. This is just for the people who constantly talk about bad aspects of their lives but willingly refuse to try and change or improve these aspects.
I feel like I have always been reaching out to people when I notice they're going through a rough time, and these days it seems to be a more often occurrence than usual. I have noticed that so many of these same people, especially people of the men, do nothing to change their situation.
You know those people who post a black screen on their Snapchat story. I can tell you, regardless if you swipe up or not, someone else will. This person then has the burden of trying to listen and communicate with someone who is obviously trying to reach out for help, with the same burden of (usually) having to dig the information out of the person. They don't want to talk about it, but at the same time, they do.
I have noticed recently, just because I am growing up and I am now in a much more diverse environment, that most of these people who openly post their feelings but make it hard on themselves to confide in someone privately are men. Especially African American men.
And why is this?
I have been talking to friends of mine, and they have all told me the same thing. Men, especially in the African American community, are forced to bottle up their emotions to be seen as a "real man". I have also learned that in this same community, it is openly frowned upon to receive help because it makes you seem "weak" (gender is not always included in this thinking, but the gap between men and women is still staggering).
This gender stereotype is very well known, and even though as a society we are making strides in eliminating gender stereotypes, that does not invalidate the destructiveness of this thinking that is forced upon people from childhood.
Despite saying all of this, I refuse to help anyone who refuses to help themselves. I'm not saying I'll cut someone out of my life just because they won't go to therapy. What I'm saying is, is if you aren't willing to work on yourself, then why do you expect anyone else to waste their time just for you to bring yourself back down again?
I am your friend. I am not a licensed therapist/psychiatrist, and therefore, I cannot give you the true help you need and deserve. As a (good) friend, I will not sit here and speak sweet nothings to you if you aren't willing to put in the effort to apply it to your life in a serious matter.
I have always been a firm believer that nobody will love you like you love yourself. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that you will never listen to anyone but yourself. Whenever you decide to do, say, or think something, it is because YOU chose to. I can say all I want to help you, but if you don't make up your mind to help yourself, what I say/do will not go far.
A lot of what I'm saying is what we've all heard before, just cliches we say but don't really listen to. The thing is though, they are cliches for a reason. We have heard about self-love and self-care so much, especially these days, and yet people don't really incorporate it in themselves. Maybe it's just because it's a sort of trend these days to be riddled with some sort of mental illness. Maybe it's just because the overwhelming of our senses due to technology and its advancements being forced upon us, and used to intimidate us.
Either way, we are all secretly narcissistic. We want the attention that social media can easily give us, the rush of dopamine when we get a text, call, like, comment… The list goes on.
Another prevalent issue that is intertwined with this, is the fact that boys tend to use their girlfriends as a therapist. They find someone who is willing to listen, something they've never really experienced in a relationship other than one that isn't with the opposite gender. I can understand that it's hard to have to keep everything inside because of societal expectations, but at the end of the day, that person loves you.
They will obviously do the best they can, but if you don't hear what they say, then you're kind of just tearing them down. We all know how it feels to try and help someone, but they just don't take it in a serious way. I can promise you that you are not alone. These licensed professionals are PAID to listen. Not only that, but they are EDUCATED in ways to be able to help you, and help you help yourself.
Next time you think about posting that black screen, ask yourself if the outcome will give you the same benefit that a professional could.