Feb 09 2007

Showing Weakness Can Be Inspiring

Published by MsQ at 12:21 am under Personal Growth, Relationships

As we go through life, we’re taught not to show weakness.

We also learn, many times the hard way, that our weaknesses can be used against us.

Everyone Has A Weak SpotWe learn to hide our weaknesses.

I was speaking with a friend the other day. His siblings were considered gifted students. All his life he has considered himself a bit slow. He may even have thought of himself as stupid.

Over the years I’ve seen that while it take him longer than most people to pick up new things, he does learn. He is not stupid at all. He just learns differently. He was telling me how difficult he found learning to be – that when he attended training courses for work, he had difficulty focusing. I could tell that he felt badly about himself.

I told him that I had the same problem. He was surprised. He considers me a bit quick on the uptake. I told him that I get extremely sleepy when attending training courses. It doesn’t matter how rested I am, if I’m in an all-day training course, by the 3rd hour, I’m sleepy. Didn’t even matter if I was really interested in the topic, I’d be ready to nod off after a few hours.

I told him that I used to feel really badly about this. There I was in training, training that cost some serious bucks, and I could barely keep my eyes open! Sometimes I failed and actually nodded off for a minute.

Then someone else told me that when the brain is presented with totally new information, when there is nothing for it to relate to, nothing for it to hang on to, the brain gets tired. That’s why most classes are set to 50-minute hours. That’s all our brain can take.

When the brain gets tired, it wants a break. It tries to take one by making us sleepy.

Once we make new connections and have something to relate the information to, we can stay focused.

“That makes total sense,” he said.

I also shared that I’m not the quickest learner in a class. I take my time. I work hard.

He told me he had no idea that I had the same problems he had. I could hear the wonder and surprise in his voice.

I could see that it made him feel better about himself.

Sharing a weakness can show empathy. You’re telling someone that they are not the only one.

It can also be inspiring.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Showing Weakness Can Be Inspiring”

  1. ackon 11 Feb 2007 at 2:34 am

    Thanks for sharing this one. It definitely struck a cord with me.

    I’ve also found that sharing a weakness can be liberating. Like, “Here I am! I don’t have to hide this anymore!”

    I figured out a couple of months ago that I suffer from depression. I’ve had it for a while, and I’m getting some help. (Avoid the psychotropics if you can kiddies – the side effects suck!) I am at the point where I am working on the root causes, trying to figure them out, and dealing with them.

    I’ve got a bunch of people that I’ve told, and everyone is real understanding. The weird thing is that I still haven’t told my parents. (probably part of the whole “we’re supposed to be perfect” thing.) I’ve wanted to, but just haven’t been able to build up the gumption to do it. It was the same the first time I went to confide in someone that I had depression. I just couldn’t do it. But, I could send them an e-mail, and that’s how I finally opened up about my depression.

    Anyway, this might be “too much information”, or it might be “freaky shit”, but I thought I would share.

  2. MsQon 11 Feb 2007 at 9:28 am

    Hi, ack – you are right. Sharing a weakness can be liberating as well. I’m sorry that you are depressed. Depression sucks the big one. I’m glad that you figured it out and are dealing with it. So many people don’t figure it out – they drink, hide it behind anger, do anything but acknowledge the pain.

    Depression runs in my family and because of this I do everything I can to avoid becoming depressed. Funny, huh? Took me a while to figure out that I was depressed last year. I mean, it wasn’t like I felt that bad. I touch on this in my About page.

    Yes, it’s very liberating not to have to hide something about yourself. People feel so much shame about their weaknesses and I think that once you share them, you feel free because you are coming to terms with that part of yourself, perhaps have learned to accept them.

    Great going on reaching out. That takes a lot of courage.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that sharing a weakness can strengthen relationships. Good relationships are good because they are based on trust. When you show someone your “ugly” side and they accept it, you build up trust.

    I’ve learned that people can surprise you. My experience has been that most people surprise me in a good way. I am glad that those you have shared your depression with have been understanding and supportive.

    I don’t think your depression is Freaky Shit. It’s human.

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