Most times we’re okay, or comfortable, but sometimes we’re not. Sometimes it feels like life threw a brick at you and it landed between your eyes. Other times it is subtler – like having a “D” whilst the person next to you had an “A”, or going to a parking lot only to discover that the only space left was between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari whilst you own a barely functional pickup truck.
But it could get worse.
Whenever we turn to someone to tell them how we feel, or even fail to maintain a false look of confidence and happiness, we get hammered with cliché like “stay positive”, and other affirmations and slights which goes a long way in making our feelings invalidated, and even gaslighting us.
So, you find yourself in a situation where successful people are rubbing it on your face that they are better than you, and the people around you are insinuating that feeling terrible (or sad) about this is wrong – and implies something is, maybe, wrong with you.
But all that is relatively bearable. When it gets unbearable is when that brick hits you. For instance, when you lose a lot of money, fail an exam, lose a loved one, break up with a partner, or suffer some other mishap. Those moments when you legit feel like crap.
I mean those moments when someone says “stop crying, it’s just a breakup”, “Don’t feel bad, it’s just money”, or “get over it”, as though feeling bad when things like these happen was wrong. As though feeling bad was wrong.
Well, I’m here to tell you that they are wrong.
There is something known as “Toxic Positivity”. And it happens when someone assumes that you should only have a positive mindset despite the situation – emotional pain, and difficulty – that you’re in.
It is when someone tries to make you laugh when you should really be weeping and sobbing. It is when someone expects you to act happy after a sad occurrence. It is when they fail to see that an abnormal response to an abnormal situation is normal.
Crying after a breakup is normal – even if you “normally don’t cry”. Feeling sad after you lost someone is normal – even if you “normally don’t feel sad. And feeling like a loser when you lost all your money to a high-risk investment is normal – even if you “normally” don’t feel like a loser. So also, is anxiety, fear, panic, and all other negative emotions…
The problem with asking someone who is feeling bad to stop feeling bad is that it makes them feel worse. Instead of just grieving, they begin to feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment on top of it – it’s like adding gasoline to flame.
Sometimes you would feel bad, but you don’t have to run away from them – you don’t have to suppress them. In fact, the best way to deal with your emotions – both positive and negative – is to feel them.
When someone dies, you should cry your eyes out. When you get cheated on, you should feel crushed and cry. When you see someone much more successful than you are, it’s normal to feel a little intimidated and jealous But that is it. After that, you move on. After that, it is gone. The lesson has been learned and the courage to move on acquired.
The best way through moments of feeling “bad” is feeling those feelings, and then moving on. Suppressing our emotions is bad for our mental health on so many levels because
So, yes, when you get hit by that brick or find yourself in a dark place when your emotions are tearing you apart from the inside out, know that expressing your emotions are not signs of weakness – they are normal and healthy.
Almost everyone, at some point in life, loses someone they love, gets dumped, faces rejection, fails, gets depressed, or feels insecure about something. This is the harsh reality of life. The experience may have been bad, but expressing the normal emotions is not – it is rather good.
And since feeling bad sometimes isn’t bad, you shouldn’t be afraid, or ashamed to experience them. You should face them because the sooner you go through them, the sooner you get back to being you – the happier, “normal” version of you. So, yes, it is okay not to be okay sometimes.
August 16, 2022
August 15, 2022