I know the feeling all too well. You’re not alone.
I think one of the hardest parts about being vulnerable, at least for people like me, is the dependency that follows. There’s something about being able to show that you’re vulnerable that’s already both difficult and scary AF, but then to need someone after that can be even more strenuous and terrifying. You don’t want to seem like a burden to anyone which can result in feeling alone when you ultimately don’t have to feel that way because there’s usually someone in your life who wants to help you.
I am about to come from a very personal perspective, but I think there’s someone out there who might need to hear this. Here are 10 little reminders for anyone who feels like a burden.
1. When you’re going through a lot in life, it’s easy to feel like a burden.
Life comes at you hard and fast. I know I’ve felt like a burden almost every time I’ve had any complications going on in life that seemed just a bit too hard for me to handle on my own. I would find myself reaching out for help and I was often left feeling embarrassed and like a complete burden on whomever I reached out to. The gag was that I felt this way regardless of how willing they were to help me. Again, there’s just something about the dependency that follows vulnerability that just weighs me down!
2. It’s okay to acknowledge that one of your wings are broken.
One of the main reasons I found myself feeling like a burden to others began with my inability to recognize that I was damaged. I felt like admitting that one of my wings was broken would make me appear weak and needy instead of hurt and in need of support. Because of that, I didn’t find it easy or useful to show my pain to anyone which made me mask the pain and pretend to be okay instead of reaching out for help. Let me tell you, big mistake.
3. The people who are trying to be there for you… want to be there for you.
Obviously, if you’re feeling like you’re burdening someone, you’re probably having difficulty believing that other people won’t see you in the same light. The people who are trying to be there for you are doing so because they care, not because they have to. I, too, felt like the more I exposed my vulnerability the more of a burden I became to the people that saw that I needed support. I would always tell the people who saw my signs that “I was fine” or I implied that it wasn’t anything major and that they didn’t need to worry themselves about little ole me—but the truth is, I very much so needed their attention. Thankfully, my crew saw right through that and I’m certain there’s someone in your life who will too. Let them be there. Let them in.
4. Listen to the (right) people who are trying to help you.
Now, while I’m telling you that there are people who do want to support you, there will be a few whose intentions may not be as pure. Some people are just nosey as hell. So, yes. Listen to the right people who are trying to help you. Don’t just take what everyone says and run with it. Hopefully, by now, you’ve been able to pinpoint who you should seek advice from, but if not, make sure you carefully decipher who those people will be during your time of need. You can accept advice from anywhere, but you don’t have to use it. Remember that.
5. Recognize the reason why you feel like a burden.
If you’re feeling like a burden, it’s important to identify why that is. Sometimes feeling like a burden can derive from a particular situation that happened and other times it can be that someone is making you feel like a burden when you’re really not one. That’s why I think it’s important to ask for support because sometimes it isn’t you. Whichever category you fall in, just make sure you recognize where that feeling is coming from so that you can take the necessary steps to resolve it.
6. Hold yourself accountable, but don’t beat yourself up about why you feel like a burden.
If you come to find that you are in some way a burden to someone, hold yourself accountable. I understand that this is not always the case, so if this isn’t your situation, I am not directing this to you. If it is applicable, that’s okay. You’re taking the steps to correct it so give yourself that if nothing else. Don’t kick yourself when you’re down. That’s not good for anyone and it won’t help you now or later.
7. Talk to the person you feel you’ve been a burden to.
If you’re able to, talking to the person you feel you’ve been a burden to can give you the clarity you need to work through the way you’re feeling. This can be a bit risky because you may come to learn that your feelings are valid and you have, in fact, been a burden to that person. However, it can also help you identify why that happened and how to avoid it in the future. Also, depending on the person, you all may even be able to let bygones be bygones and move forward in your relationship.
8. Believe the person who tells you that you’re not a burden to them.
If you’re able to have that conversation, you may learn that you were incorrect. If the person you thought you were a burden to tells you that you aren’t one, believe them. Don’t create more stress for yourself or for them. And hold them at their word. You’re doing all you can to resolve an issue you thought was present and if they can assure you that there isn’t one, what good does it do anyone to deny that fact? If you find that you’re unable to believe them, you probably are the problem, and separating yourself might be a good idea.
9. Always show your appreciation for the person who’s willing and trying to help you carry your load.
I was guilty of misinterpreting why the people who were trying to be there for me were actually trying to be there. I felt like I became annoying and I felt like they thought I was attention-seeking and because of that, I rejected the help they intended to give me. I learned quickly that I wouldn’t have handled my personal situation with grace AT ALL if it weren’t for my support system and I do my best never to let them forget that. I know it may seem futile, but it really makes a difference for both you and your supporters.
10. Keep bettering yourself… for YOU (and those supporting you).
The key to turning this feeling around is continuing to make yourself better. Look at you, you’re feeling like a burden, and you’re already seeking advice on what to do! You’re already one step ahead. Keep thriving. Never stop making the effort to better yourself, it won’t go unnoticed. You’ll see a difference in yourself and if you have a strong support system, they will make sure that they give you praise for trying your best. I’m sure of it.
Love always, Isis.