Your kid falls down. He scrapes his knee. It’s bleeding, so you grab a tissue to clean it up. You give your kiddo a squeeze and say, “don’t cry, it’s gonna be ok! I love you.”
A dad and son are playing ball. The son makes a bad pass and gets upset. He starts getting teary because he is disappointed in himself. The dad looks at him and says, “wipe the tears and be a man. It’s not the end of the world if you make a bad pass. That’s how you learn and get better!”
A friend is crying over a recent breakup. She is devastated, even though the guy was a total donkey. She’s so distressed wondering how she could fix the mess. You look at her and say, “don’t waste your tears on that asshole. He’s not even worth it.”
A coworker is sitting in the lunch room quietly weeping. You go over to her to see if she’s ok. She’s having a moment after the loss of her father. Something about the smell of the lunchroom that day reminded her of her dads favorite meal, and it just hit her. You sit with her and start talking about how you lost your dad, too and what his favorite food was. And try to share the moment with her.
Your sister is talking about how overwhelmed she is with life. She’s struggling to communicate with her kids and her husband and just doesn’t feel heard. You chime in with all the reasons in your life that relate and say you understand. And then you share some advice on how she could do things differently.
Above are a few scenarios that happen all the time in life. You have probably experienced some form of all of them, right?! There is nothing “wrong” with how those situations unfolded…but I’m here to share with you a little shift on how we can best navigate other people’s FEELINGS. Because honestly, once we really dial into this, we feel so much more internal PEACE! How’s that sound?!
Let’s start with the phrase, “DON’T CRY.” Who’s said it to someone before?!🙋🏻♀️ I have a gazillion times. And then I realized, saying “don’t cry” when someone is sad is the same as saying “don’t laugh” when someone is happy.
Have you ever looked at someone experiencing a moment of pure JOY and told them to stop laughing?!
NOT. A. CHANCE, right?! We love seeing other people happy and laughing and want our friends and family to constantly feel that!! Kinda interesting how we encourage the emotion of joy, but the second we see someone in pain, we try to get them to STOP feeling it.
Obviously, we don’t want to see people hurting. It’s not easy to witness. And most of us have this unwavering feeling that it’s our responsibility to help other people feel better…even if they don’t ask for it. Those people are called EMPATHS. Can I get an amen on a Monday if that’s you?! Because I so get it!
I always felt like it was my responsibility to make things better for others. I am here to help and serve, so I gotta step up and show up say all the right things to help someone get out of their own way, whether they want to hear it or not🤣
UMMM…not the best way, Taren. And I learned that the hard way by getting myself all wrapped up that I lost sight of ALLOWING PEOPLE TO BE WHATEVER THEY NEEDED TO BE! Whew.
Here’s the kicker…it’s not our job to -MAKE- someone else feel better. It’s our job to support others in making themselves feel better. See that tiny little shift?! Guys…that shift is EVERYTHING! Read it again.
Maybe one more time. Got it?! Good🙌🏻
It’s so easy to see someone crying and tell them that they don’t need to. But guess what, they feel like they need to. So who the heck are we to tell them any different?! Next time you see someone else crying, even if you don’t AGREE with why they are sad, let them know it’s OK to FEEL. Be the person in their life who just lets them BE whatever they need to be in that moment. Deal?! I’m gonna hold you to that…and you’re gonna feel SO much different approaching situations from that angle going forward.
If my kids get upset now, I look right at them, I tell them I understand they are feeling what they need to feel and I ASK if there’s anything I can do to help. I ASK. I don’t just start spewing advice or wise words. I let them FEEL and honor the space. And depending on the situation, will parent accordingly.
But do you see how we can so easily make someone else’s feelings a product of our own opinion?! We decide whether or not they should feel a certain way…and that’s just baloney. We think we are helping, but there’s such a better way! We all have the divine right to FEEL the FEELS! We need to respect each other and love each other enough to allow that!
Ok, so let’s talk about being relatable and giving advice… when someone else tells us they are having a hard time, WHY do we instantly feel like we need to start talking about ourselves for them to understand that we get what they are saying?! Humans are funny, aren’t we?!
We all want connection. We all want to share our struggles that we have overcome so other people can do the same thing…but there’s a time and a place for that.
Next time you are faced with someone in the middle of a struggle, JUST LISTEN. Just hear them, and be there for them. Often times, they don’t actually need to hear anything else in the moment except for, “I’m here and I love you.”
That is really the ultimate support.
When we are going through a challenge in life, it’s very rare they we don’t know what to do. We almost always KNOW how to handle it, we just might not like it…so that leads to lots of emotions and feelings and stress and dismay. It makes us wanna talk about it and dwell over it. We don’t actually need advice or someone telling us what we should do…we just need TIME to figure it out. Getting 27 different opinions doesn’t make it easier for the individual.
Think about your own life for a second…do you enjoy getting unsolicited advice? Do you want someone else telling you how you should feel? Then why the F do we do it others?!😂
Listen, we do it because in the moment, it feels like we are HELPING. We do it because we care. We do it because it’s really uncomfortable to see someone struggle and we just think that there’s gotta be a way we can FIX it!
The moral of the story here peeps: The best way to heal a sad situation is to fill it with LOVE and compassion and with LESS WORDS and MORE HEART!
Really try implementing this and just see how different YOU feel…it’s freeing when you stop trying to make sense of other people’s feelings and just love on them.
Most of our disagreements in life come from trying to get someone else to understand why we feel the way we feel. If we all just honored each others feelings, we wouldn’t waste so much damn time arguing over them!
Listen, I’m not saying we have to agree with everyone and hold hands singing kumbaya then ride unicorns over rainbows…I’m saying when you stop making your opinions about other people’s feelings a priority, you just might start farting glitter. ✨✨✨✨