I often said the wrong thing- wake up, shut up, grow up. These are the wrong thing to say when people are sad about some minor cruelty or sentimental incident. Denise Mina “Conviction”
Who says you can’t get insight from a fictional, psychological thriller?
I read this quote last week, and it sort of jibed with everything that I had been thinking and experiencing. I had a lousy week, yet there were a bunch of people who would line up to tell me that I was wrong to feel this way. I have so much more than other people. OR That no one should ever have bad days, we should all adjust our mindset to just dismiss them entirely…
I call BULLSHIT on that…
No one has the right to tell anyone how they should feel.
I’m going to repeat that so you get how emphatic I would be if you were standing next to me:
HAS THE RIGHT
TO TELL ANOTHER PERSON
HOW OR WHAT THEY SHOULD BE FEELING
The most personal thing we have are our feelings- our feelings are ours and ours alone. To tell someone that there feelings are wrong, it essentially telling them that they, as an individual, are wrong.
To tell someone to just think positive, or act happy, or brush it away because it doesn’t matter means you are negating the person’s ability to express emotion. You are telling them that positive emotions are the only ones we should ever feel…and you’re setting them up for a lifetime of disappointment. If the expectation is that we are supposed to be positive 100% of the time, the majority are going to be depressed 50% of the time because they will think that soemthing is wrong with them. How dare they not be happy? How dare someone doesn’t always see the rainbow? The pot of gold?
Take adversity and throw it away.
Positive people are postive all the time and that’s the way to be…
Sorry- that’s cult mentality.
But for a moment- let’s cut to the other side of this coin: the people who say- You should be happy because there are others much less fortunate than you.
I want you to think about this: If you say that there are others less fortunate than you, you are comparing.
Never compare your life to someone else’s. The grass is always greener, keeping up the Jones/Kardashian clans are bad for your mental health because you will never be content with what you have. You will always feel less.
Conversely, always looking at others and saying I’m more fortunate than them is pretty much saying- Wow- I am so much better than they are. They are inferior. I am superior. Because, let’s face it- you’re saying that you should be happy because you are not them…
We all have emotions. Good ones and not so good ones. That’s a fact. The trick is to learn how to DEAL with the myriad emotions that we all face. The goal shouldn’t be to pretend that we never feel anything negative. The goal should be to learn how to deal with the negative emotions in a positive way.
One of the greatest lessons we can teach our kids is how to deal with the bad things, whether they be as small as getting a bad grade on a test, or as large as losing someone you love. It’s our old friend resilience again… Don’t tell your kids to smile, or be happy. Don’t say to them- well, I don’t know what you’re mad about, look at all the stuff you have. Don’t say that they have it much better than you had it as a kid (comparing again)
Tell your kids that mad, sad, angry are ok. Blah is ok.
Then teach them healthy ways to deal with it. Physical activity. Creative project. Read a book or watch a show with a character that feels the same way…
Don’t tell someone that there feelings aren’t valid. All feelings are valid. The only thing not valid is telling someone that they’re not.