I was 10min in to a seminar I was presenting and I for sure thought it was going to bomb. The majority of the students were disengaged and were not paying attention. Naturally my heart started racing, I was forgetting to breathe while I was talking and I had 3 more hours left of the program to deliver!
If didn’t come up with something quick, then I knew it would be over. Amongst the stress I thought perhaps if I just be real and really dive deep into the emotion and share a bit of my personal life then maybe, just maybe, I could get them on to my side.
I’m not going to go into too much detail, but what happened was as soon as I started talking about the struggle of high school life, crumbling under pressure, talking about expectations and how damaging it is to yourself when you compare yourself to other people and opening up about my own experiences with this, everyone in the room was silent and attentive.
I think there’s something about when you feel what you’re saying when you talk about anything, especially pain and struggle, that makes people want to listen.
I endeavoured to figure out what it was and it lead me to reading short stories and listening to other people talk about struggles and significant events in their lives.
I think when you talk about what it is that you’re going through or what you went through; It makes people feel like they’re not the only ones who are suffering and they can subsequently deal with their situation with a bit more resilience and hope.
I used to be hard wired into thinking that when you share your emotions and your story - it’s a weakness. When in fact, it is an incredible tool to connect with people and make them feel better about themselves and their situation.
So I encourage you, with the right people and context of course, to share some of your stories and listen to what other people have to say about theirs. Whether you’re the one sharing or the one listening, either way, it's relieving.
Written by Himal