If you’ve ever had a struggle or a really difficult circumstance in your life, you most likely wanted to share the struggle with someone you trust and who can help you through it.
Yet, at one point (or many points), you may have found yourself feeling worse after sharing your struggle with someone who didn't support you in the way you needed them to.
In this discussion with Oprah, Brene Brown speaks to this exact situation in what she refers to as: 6 People Who Do Not Deserve To Hear Your Shame Story.
It’s powerful to realize that you may have chosen to be vulnerable with the wrong person. You may have chosen to be open with someone who hasn’t learned to be open with themselves.
So often on your worthiness journey, you can feel unworthy around others who aren’t vulnerable and interpret their lack of vulnerability and authenticity as superiority. They seem to have it so much easier. They seem to be skating through life.
Consider that these people may have painted themselves into a familiar box that won’t allow them to risk anything that would expose them as being seen as "weak". Their perfectionism and image may be a solid cover for deep shame that they aren’t even aware of and never want to look at.
As Brene references, they get triggered if you try to “go there” with them through sharing your own deep struggle. They either pity you or distance from you and their goal is to get back to the surface level where things are “safe” and “shame free”.
So the question remains, can someone else make you feel unworthy?
Yes and No.
Yes from the examples used above where you may perceive their lack of openness as superiority to you because they are masking any shame they feel with looking "perfect" and appearing to have it all together.
No from what the great Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.
But to add onto that, no one can care more about your struggle more than you. The parts of you that are struggling need your time, attention and compassion the most. They want and crave your acceptance most of all.
It's also critical to mention that you may have a deep need to get support and compassion from people who didn't have the capacity or capability to give you time, attention and compassion when you were young. And now you have a compulsion to seek a similar source and change the outcome.
Becoming aware of this compulsive, hurtful pattern is the first step. The second step is knowing the only way you can truly change the outcome is to give whatever you seek to yourself. That is a leap forward.
So, when it comes to knowing who you can trust, the key is to utilize what I believe is the greatest spiritual tool you can have in your toolkit when seeking this support: Discernment
Knowing who you can trust really comes back to trusting yourself. In addition to seeking close, safe, external support, you need your own. You need own time; your own attention; and your own compassion.
As always it’s your choice. Choose powerfully and remember, use discernment!