Encouraging Words from a Friend

So one of my friends posted this thing on Facebook that if you liked their status, they will give you encouragement back. So this is what my friend said about me:
“You are a great friend. You listen to listen, not to respond. People like you are difficult to find and oh so valuable. You express such interest in other people’s lives, and I think that’s incredible. I’ve loved watching you take on challenges these last few years: buying your first place, and becoming awesome at swing dancing. And the work you do with your job–helping raise up the kiddies–is so valuable. As a mom, I want to thank you for taking such good care of the kids in your preschool. Also, I love that you’re always up for a movie.”

Yes, it’s true, but at the same time not. I do listen to listen and not to respond, mainly because I don’t always know what to say. I wish it were easier for me to respond instead of just sitting in silence. I wish I had the words to say things. I don’t know how to say what I want to say. I don’t know how to express myself clearly. Things that others see as encouraging in myself, I see as a true weakness. Expression of oneself should be the easiest thing to do for a person, but in actuality it is one of the scariest things for me.

I fear being judged. I fear that people will look down on me. I fear that what I have to say will be taken the wrong way. I fear my silence will be the end of me. I fear that people will not see the real me.

This post was supposed to be about encouragement from friends and somehow has turned into fear from myself. Why is it like this? Do others feel this way? That fear is the stronghold around them?

I want to be encouraged by friends and family but my fears just seem to get in the way of everything.

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