8 Things to Remember When Sharing about your hair loss!
Since I was little, I have always been obsessed with writing, expressing, and communicating in all forms. I always won the poetry contest, participated in every play, and had a show on my school’s radio. I knew at an early age that I was a communicator and that one day, I would make it big like Oprah. My intention was always to be on camera but life had a surprise in store for me that I did not expect. I started losing my hair in chunks at 18 years old, losing almost 80% of my hair when I was in college and all my dreams were crushed.
At 24 years old, I was diagnosed with Alopecia and I immediately changed my major because I thought I would never get a job on television without hair. I completely changed the course of my life and that is just the beginning of all the things I stopped doing due to my hair loss. I stopped swimming, exercising, dating and doing all the fun things a girl should be doing in her twenties. I stopped living my life because of my hair loss.
After 18 years of living with this condition, I finally ripped off the bandaid and 3 years ago, I decided that enough is enough and that I would stop hiding. I would start writing, creating and speaking about hair loss, the biggest pain I’ve ever experienced and also the blessing in disguise that became my greatest teacher.
For the past 3 years, I’ve been doing everything in my power to give a voice to the hair loss community in every way I can, through videos, podcasts, interviews, and now through this blog. I’m so thrilled to be sharing my experience and what I have learned about myself while living with Alopecia. I will be sharing how I have managed to navigate relationships, jobs and life transitions, all while dealing with severe hair loss. Today specifically, I want to share what I have learned when it comes to sharing with others about hair loss because talking about my alopecia is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
When we start sharing about our hair loss, it is important to tell the truth to someone safe so that we can start learning how to identify the people who have the capacity to hold our truth and who have the capacity to receive us the way we want to be received.
Many of us get disappointed and discouraged when we share ourselves with someone who can’t receive us. And part of that is because we’re actually sharing ourselves with someone who isn’t the right receiver at the right time. So this is about discernment. The first step we must take before we start sharing about our hair loss is getting clear about who we can share ourselves with.
Here’s what I want you to know that no one tells you. We can make very direct requests around the way we want to be received. So if there is something that we want to share with another person about ourselves, if there is a reveal, or if there is just something that we want to share in service of connection, resonance, or being more known, we can literally make a request of the person we’re sharing with about how we would like to be received.
In other words, we can say something like this: “I want to share something with you and my request is that, while I’m sharing, that you don’t offer any feedback. And when I’m done, my request is that you simply tell me you love me or you simply hold my hand, give me a hug, or you just sit with me. And if I want to hear anything from you about this, I will let you know when I’m done. Are you able to do that?”
If they say yes, great, and if they say no, you’ve just been able to get a gauge and a measure on if the other person has the capacity to receive you in the way you want to be received.
8 Things to Remember When Sharing about your hair loss
- You are not here to fix, save, or rescue anyone and nobody is responsible for saving or rescuing you.
- Oversharing does not always create a connection. If the other person is not ready to receive you, it can backfire and you will be disappointed. Oversharing is not the way.
- If someone projects some kind of judgment on you and it affects you, you already have that judgment on yourself. For example, If someone says something about you that you know is not real, you can let it go. But if it hurts you, you already have that belief about yourself.
- Their reaction to you sharing your truth is not your responsibility to manage. As you are looking at their reaction, remember that their reaction is theirs.
- Sharing your truth with others is not about them. It is about you taking your power back. It’s about you giving yourself the opportunity to show up.
- You don’t have to make yourself digestible to others. If you continue trying to please people and wearing masks, your decisions and behaviors are about others, not you. Next thing you know, your entire life will be about what others think and your life won’t be yours.
- Recognize that everyone is a mirror of you. So much of how we will be received depends on our delivery. You are going to receive what you put out into the field. If you share from a victim standpoint, people will see you as a victim.
- The way other people react to your truth says more about them than it does about you.
I encourage you to find what you want to share with someone else and test drive. Try this new way of sharing for yourself. Approach someone and let them know what works for you. See if they’re available to receive you in this way and see what happens.
Thanks for sharing so many things that I looked at differently , that I can now work at about myself .
Beautifully written Val! I like the broader applications that these 8 steps offer to all of life’s important conversations.