I've always been afraid of being weak. I don't mean weak as in I can't pick up that box kind of weak but rather emotionally weak. My number one personal rule growing up has always been to never let anyone see me cry, and I've done a pretty good job of not breaking it. Even at my lowest points, I've always managed to put on a smile and act like everything was fine in front of other people. For some reason, I mistook showing any form of emotion as being weak.

I recently came to the realization that my "rule" growing up was absolutely ridiculous. As a result of bottling up all my emotions, anger and stress would build up over time. I often found myself getting irritated over little things because internally there was so much going on.

A few weeks ago, I found myself breaking down in the backseat of my friend's car for what quite literally seemed like no reason. I couldn't even pinpoint why I was upset. For the first time, my friends witnessed me crying. My first instinct was to be embarrassed. My face turned bright red and my stomach started churning when I realized my friends may perceive me as weak. But they didn't. Instead, they talked to me about what was going on and reminded me of how strong I was.

I know that I'm not alone when I say that talking about my feelings makes me feel weak. We live in a society that looks down upon being vulnerable. People are constantly brought down for talking about how This is an issue that affects both boys and girls. I've seen girls get called dramatic a million times for simply opening up about how they feel. Boys get attacked and made fun of for crying or being emotional which makes no sense because it is a completely normal thing!

Talking about your emotions does not make you weak. In fact, being able to talk about your feelings is a sign of strength. It takes a lot for a person to truly be able to open up and get personal with others. As a society, we need to stop shaming people when they are most vulnerable. Everyone has emotions and they are part of what makes us human! If we lived a life without showing our emotions, we would all be robotic. Quite honestly, it would be a pretty boring life.

It is OK to open up and talk about how you feel. It's time to stop being afraid of telling people the things that are bothering you. If you have a hard time opening up to people, remember that they are your friends for a reason. Your friends are not going to judge you or make fun of you for opening up, and if they do they are not your real friends. They are on your side and there to help you through things. That's what friends are for. Don't be afraid to open up and remember that you are strong!