The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
If you know me at all, you know that I love a good, deep conversation with someone. I think I gained this habit when I started going to camp. I would go for a week, meet some girls, become extremely close with them for that particular week and basically never speak to them again (until I was finally allowed to have a phone). The thing that I loved the most about camp was talking with my cabin mates at night. Our cabin was dark enough so that you couldn’t really see the other girls, but light enough for it not to get scary at night. This environment somehow made it easy to be vulnerable – since you knew no one was looking at you directly or could see if you happened to shed a tear. We would talk and talk until we fell asleep mid-conversation. I remember feeling overjoyed that other girls my age were feeling the same things as I was because it’s not always easy to bring up vulnerable feelings with friends from school. I am now older and wiser than that little girl at camp. Now I know what society calls this kind of conversation: girl talk. I want to emphasize that the kind of girl talk I want to address is not just about boys, dresses and makeup, but about those deep feelings that girls and women find hard to talk about for a number of reasons.
I was reminded of the importance of girl talk when a few of my friends and I had a meaningful conversation in the living room of my student house. It happened so organically and truly caught me off guard. Sitting around me were three other girls telling me they had the exact same feelings within them that I had in me. I thought I was the only 20-year-old girl that felt like this and that there was something weird or abnormal about me. Through our conversation, this group of young women broke down those walls of isolation that I had built up around myself. I am confident that I am not the only one that has ever felt scared or alone in a foreign thought or feeling. On top of the societal norm of only talking about the good things in life and ignoring the bad things, it’s scary to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable with someone means that you have to trust them, and we all know trust is also a scary thing. I left that conversation feeling excited in the newfound reassurance that I received from hearing about my friends’ experiences, and how they were so similar to my own.
I want to end with a message of encouragement. If you think that you are alone in a feeling that you have, I can assure you that you’re not alone. From here on out, I don’t want to be scared to share those uncomfortable feelings with others, as they might be feeling the same way. By opening up to them, I could indirectly encourage them through their own scary feelings. If you have a solid group of people that you trust, don’t be afraid to open up to them, because it will most likely bring you closer together. If you don’t have many people in your life that you can trust right now, try being vulnerable with just one person – it could be the start of a great friendship.