Since I’ve been ill, people close to me have encouraged me to be more “open” about the way I feel. This seems like an honest request, allowing someone to see what you’re feeling and understand what is going on inside your head; but what is too open? I’ve found there is such a thing with some people. I understand that at the time is was suggested, it was meant in all sincerity, an honest offer of helpful advice, but it becomes apparent after you’ve bared your soul that what you’ve “opened” isn’t particularly acceptable in polite conversation. The old adage that you can’t understand what you haven’t experienced is true here. Some thoughts are just better off left with a therapist, psychiatrist etc.
Some of my thoughts are quite extreme and can be scary for people to acknowledge, suicide ideation is just one example, some people just can’t get their heads around it, or they become quite distressed by it, in which case you carry a side order of guilt as well as your other thoughts.
What I’d most like people to understand about asking people to open up is whether they are prepared for the deluge that may follow, and if not be supportive in other ways. It sometimes takes a strong constitution to hear the words of someone at their lowest ebb, just remember it’s much worse for the person going through it.
My one piece of advice is simply to not ask someone to be more open if you aren’t prepared to support them through it when they are.