Dear admin, please post the following anonymously on Facebook

If you use Facebook, and are a member of some community groups, you might have seen a few posts that start with the aforementioned sentence.

Sometimes, when you are caught between a rock and a hard place, you need to hear other people’s opinions. But not necessarily ‘talk’. You just want to see how others would react if they were in a similar situation, explore options that you might not think of, and maybe get a solution to your dilemma.

Here’s a thing that we need to understand about community groups (like Soul Sisters, Expat Ladies Berlin and RDD) – they are built on sisterhood. Members in the group will always side with their fellow member. This is the basic premise, to offer support and cheerleaders when they need them the most.

I recently had such an experience, where I posted ‘anonymously’ on one of the groups, just to understand my options, and maybe validate my feelings. These anonymous posts aren’t always personal or tragic; sometimes, it’s as casual as asking current students at a university to share their experiences as you are considering it for further studies. Nothing life shattering, but something you’d rather not discuss with friends and family just yet. You need to process it personally first.

Anyway. Back to my experience. For starters, I am so grateful for such platforms where women-supporting-women is the way of life. Second, these groups have women from all walks of life, with different stories and distinct experiences. So when they come over with suggestions and recommendations, it literally goes from right to the extreme left on the spectrum of life experience. I don’t think it is possible for a person to conjure all these possibilities on their own. And then there is support – to know that you are not alone. To have your feelings validated and anguish understood, because someone might have experienced something similar and their journey inspires you to go on.

Having said that, there is one more thing to keep in mind when you ask for suggestions (with anonymously or otherwise) on such platforms, especially when it involves relationships and emotions – every journey is different. When people come to you with suggestions, all genuine and with good intent, even then take it with a grain of salt, simply because while they might have an opinion and/or have had similar experiences, no one knows your life, journey and priorities like you do. Just because it has worked for someone does not guarantee that it will make you happy as well. Ask around, discuss, but in the end, trust your gut, because you have to live with your decision. You have to own it, and believe that it is right for YOU.

Here’s to Facebook groups, fostering support systems and empowering women 🥂