Sunday, September 23, 2007

Everyone feels socially isolated sometimes

I'm learning plenty in my multicultural grad class. Social isolation applies to everyone and does not depend on race and gender alone.

With regard to race and identity, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum writes, "in adolescence or  in adulthood, the ability to see oneself as part of a larger group from which one can draw support is an important coping strategy. Individuals who do not have such a strategy available to them because they do not experience a shared identity with at least some subset of their racial group are at risk for considerable social isolation."

Even though I am not Black, I believe anyone can fit into this description. Since my father's death, I have been in a conflict over how much I should confide in others when I'm feeling depressed. No matter what I do, I'm left thinking that they are not me and do not understand. If I say too much, I feel I am burdening them with my emotions. If I don't say enough, it is not healthy for me and it leaves my friends thinking I am distancing myself. I know in my heart what I should do and that is to talk incessantly. But when does a friend turn into a therapist?

I am left feeling vulnerable and socially isolated. Right now, my right is to disclose my feelings and let them flow. Maybe the path to feeling connected isn't sharing exact experiences but being empathic and having unconditional positive regard. My reward is yet to come.

1 comment:

xxroxymamaxx said...

Gosh, no matter how many times I turn on your alert, I still don't get them!!!  ughh.  Turning it on again. lol  As for feeling socially isolated and not knowing how much to confide in your friends, I think if you are feeling depressed or feel like you need to talk to someone then you should because your friends really want to be there for you and they do want to help.  This is how they can help by listening.  But just try to think of the tables turned.  Put yourself in their shoes.  What if it were a friend of yours needing to talk.  You would be there right?  See.  love ya, Shelly