Our Impact on Others

I have a feeling that none of us ever truly comprehend the positive impact that we have on the people in our lives. I’ve certainly known many of my very best friends to severely underestimate the extent to which I value them and the extent to which other people value them too. Earlier this week, I discovered that I was guilty of doing much the same thing.

In recent times, I’ve been feeling pretty good, but I have to admit that 2018 and the latter end of 2017 were very difficult for me. My mental health was at an all time low. Though I am now back on track, on Wednesday I decided share the experience publicly online – just to give anyone else going through the same thing a bit of solidarity and to encourage more open discussion on mental health in general.

I didn’t expect much to come of it, beside maybe receiving a couple of likes, but honestly, I was overwhelmed by the resulting outpouring of positivity. People were sending me all kinds of positive messages; telling me that the world would be a horrible place without me, telling me that I was such a kind and selfless person, complimenting me on my attempts to make people feel valued. Admittedly, a lot of this came from my very best friends, who are likely to have a bit of a pro-me bias, but it wasn’t just them: someone I don’t know quite as well opened up about his own mental health struggles, someone I didn’t really think I’d hear from again sent me a long and touching message – practically everyone I’ve ever known was sending me “love reacts.”

My goal in life has always been to be a positive influence in the lives of my friends – to make them feel happy and valued. The experience I had earlier this week made me feel that I am achieving this goal – that what I do is right and good and worthwhile. So, if you’re ever feeling low – be open about it, let people know that you’re struggling. You probably don’t realise quite how much everybody values you and, furthermore, by being open you may too help other people to open up as well – this will then help them and may even start a wave of postivity.

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