Anybody else feel bad after being vulnerable with close friend?

Today I had a long conversation with a close friend. I ended up talking much more than usual about some stuff close to the bone, some of my flaws or weaknesses.

It was pretty much the ideal situation for this kind of sharing. My friend truly loves me and cares about me, was sincerely interested and was glad to feel closer to me for knowing this stuff. I didn’t feel pressured or judged. I don’t regret telling her these things.

and I just have this …emotional hangover? I feel kind of sad and out of sorts.

I guess I’m sharing this because the narrative of the day is that when you allow yourself to be vulnerable you’ll be glad you did. That if you share close stuff you’ll feel a sense of relief or release. And I don’t feel that way, I feel blue.

There is a certain irony to this post. Here I am sharing feelings again, searching for validation. Maybe I’ll get no sense of relief from posting, sigh.

Dunno why that would happen. It doesn’t seem to make sense. You should have a healthy emotional glow, and savor the memory of the closeness.

Something caused a bad reaction, but you’re the only one who can analyze what it was.

My only advice is…keep doing it anyway. Share yourself with your friend, especially since he/she is as supportive and caring as you describe. Maybe even tell them about what happened, and see if they can help you analyze it.

I think it’s good that you trusted someone but it’s also just harder for some people to do that than others. Because, let’s face it, it also makes you vulnerable. So maybe somewhere in your mind you are not so trusting but you are trying and took a chance.

Maybe you will feel good later on, once you are shown for sure that your friend will actually be worthy of your confidence. I wonder how you will feel about it a week from now, in other words. ?

I think, since you asked, that you might very well feel glad you did share – and yet also feel blue. There’s nothing contradictory there. If you got a little closer to the things that hurt you inside, if you put them into words more than usual, feeling a bit blue is maybe not so surprising. Perhaps it’s the kind of sad feeling that the only way out of is through the middle. And if you got a little closer to your friend, so much the better. I would like to have had a conversation like that today, myself. Congratulations on that.

I find that when I am talking about something “close to the bone”, I get physically cold and shaky. And even if intellectually and to some extent emotionally, I know it was a positive thing to do, I can still feel like I went through the wringer. Give yourself time to process what you talked about and it will settle down.

I am never comfortable being “open” around people I have to interact with on a regular basis. I don’t want people to know what my insecurities and worries are because I’m afraid they’ll always remember…and I guess I’m afraid they’ll use that information against me. Or they will (inadvertently or otherwise) tell other people what I’m going through, and suddenly everyone knows how pathetic I am.

I wish I wasn’t like this.

Always. I don’t share much that really matters even with people very close to me, and if I do, I don’t feel better afterwards, rather worst.

That’s a flaw of mine. And yours.

There is no “should” to emotions. No feelings make sense.

Well, if you shared this deep thing with her, and she offered nothing deep about herself in return, sure that can feel a little weird.
But that’s not to say your friend is doing anything wrong. It may very well be she doesn’t have any life experiences that compare to yours. Or maybe she didn’t want to distract from “your” moment.

Regardless, I can see how it would leave you feeling like you’re the only naked one in the room.

Well, yes and no. There are some “near universals” where “should” is descriptive, if not truly prescriptive. Orgasm “should” give pleasure; a kick in the shin “should” cause discomfort.

Being open and trusting with a friend “should” feel nice. It’s one of the cornerstones of human friendship.

I won’t say that anyone who feels otherwise is bad, or sick, or warped, or even wrong, but they’re doing it differently from purt’ near all the rest of us.

I suppose I’d like to see how what the consensus feels about being vulnerable before concluding that the OP is “different” and in need of “shoulding” on herself. Also, seems to me there are way too many variables to consider before using the word “should”, but maybe that’s just me.

I can’t imagine that most people enjoy being vulnerable. Feeling like it’s no big deal, sure. Feeling relieved when the listener responds in a positive assuring way? Sure. Feeling comfortable when the listener is someone you routinely unload on? OK. But walking into the situation with the expectation that you should always feel great after revealing your true self to someone? I just can’t imagine ever feeling this way. I think even if the “revealing” were to be completely non-awkward, there would always be a part of me that would feel a bit embarrassed. It wouldn’t be a debilitating feeling, but it would make the experience decidedly non-enjoyable.

my life experience has taught me that “friend” means “someone who hasn’t thrown you under the bus yet.”

I’m friendly with people, but I’m not their friends.

Because friends are not to be trusted. they’ll sell you out at the first opportunity if they think it’ll get them something.

I don’t think it’s ironic at all.

Even though we Dopers will hang out here till the end of time hopefully, we’re really are all (mostly) perfect strangers. I associate individual Dopers with certain things. But that’s not really the same thing as “knowing” someone.

I’ve shared some things here that I would never dream of telling anyone in real life EVER. I consider myself an intensely private person in a real life, but online it is much easier for me to be “open”. Because what’s the worse that could happen? If everyone here started throwing virtual tomatoes at me in response to something I’ve said, I can just stop posting and lurking and start anew somewhere else. But it is much harder to escape a bad reputation in real life.

I’ve had things I shared with close friends or family come back to haunt me so nowadays I try to keep those types of things to myself. Even things I shared with my Wife, whom I thought I could trust, now we are getting divorced and she has told me people things I would rather have kept private, nothing dirty or perverse or anything just family issues.

Maybe I’m over-simplifying here, but if you were talking about your flaws and weaknesses, then I would imagine you’re feeling out of sorts simply because now you’re thinking about your flaws and weaknesses. In the long-term, it’s healthier to sort through emotions than shove them back and pretend they don’t exist, but in the short-term, it’s often uncomfortable and painful. I’m sure I would feel out of sorts if I just had a lengthy conversation with someone about the things I didn’t like about myself.

(I do want to say props to you for going there, because some people are so scared of their own weaknesses that they try to pretend they don’t have any. I’ve known people who think loving one’s self means denying that any flaw of theirs is a flaw to be corrected, and merely something unique to be celebrated, even if it’s clearly hurting them. Your way is better.)

Talking about painful and unpleasant things is painful and unpleasant. Don’t reopen old wounds or they won’t heal. That goes doubly for new wounds. Practice suppressing your emotions instead.

I find the only times in my life I have poured my heart out it was to a complete stranger I would never see again. Usually drinks were involved. I did feel better afterward without any fear of it comming back and biting me on the ass.

I can totally relate to the OP. I get some sort of hangover after deep conversations. I saw a therapist a few years ago for some issues I was dealing with & after the therapy sessions I would feel exhausted. No idea why.

Yes, and bonus points for pushing them down with food, alcohol or drugs.

I have a quickie answer for you, and a much more careful one.

Quickie: confessing, opening up to someone, talking about truths you were previously hiding, are all very similar to medical situations, where you open up an infected area to get the toxins out. Yes, it is very good for you overall, but the process itself hurts a lot, can be scary, and leaves you with a now open, and still bleeding wound that has to go through more healing.

Deeper: I am an Historian, as well as having participated in therapy sessions for myself and others. You might not appreciate it, but studying history a lot, prepared me better than most other studies, to directly understand your kind of situation.

The thing is, those of us who study a LOT of history honestly (as opposed to looking up short quotes we don’t understand completely, to use in online debates) , come to realize more than anything else, that LIFE IS DAMN COMPLICATED.

That’s the main thing you need to recognize with this. You can augment that general observation further, by recognizing that everyone sort of BUILDS THEMSELVES, as they grow and age. What I’m getting at with that, is that if you are like most of us, you “built” a public version of yourself, to more or less allow you to get things done in the world. You trained yourself to smile sometimes when you weren’t happy, because that helped you stay employed, or because you didn’t want someone you cared about to feel bad themselves, or to worry about you. When you opened up to your friend as you did, the act of doing so involved (on a conceptual level at least) tearing down the “you” that you were “operating” while dealing with that friend.

After you disassembled yourself in front of them in order to allow them to know your previously hidden concerns, you realized that you couldn’t just snap everything back together again and go back to dealing with that person the same way you had before. You must instead, design and build a NEW version of yourself, that accommodates your “reveal.”

That is what is making you so uncomfortable, more than anything else, because in a very real way, you have just had an intimate interaction with another person, and it has made the two of you STRANGERS, even as it allowed them to know you so much better. It’s confusing, but true.

You will recover, but it will take time, because you have to redesign how you conduct your life with that person and with others, due to your new awareness of yourself.

Eventually, in an overall way, you WILL feel much better for this. But the mess you have to deal with in the mean time, is going to be disruptive and uncomfortable to you until you deal with it all.

Real life is MUCH more complicated than cartoon life!