How often to we hear comments like “ah you are always so extreme” or “you’re so obsessed” or “you’re crazy to think that way”? Too often, right? If I were to translate some of these phrases, they still would not interpret what the speaker meant. Sometimes it really means, “Well, I don’t agree with you, hence you’re wrong to even think that way!” And the list goes on: you think too much, you don’t have enough feelings, you have too many feelings, you are impulsive, you don’t think things through…I don’t understand where you are coming from.
Would it hurt so much to ask, “What do you mean?” or “Tell me what that looks like to feel that way”. Do you remember when you were a young child and you may have had a falling out with a friend or someone tripped you and you cried, not because your knee hurt when you scraped it…because your feelings were hurt. And then an older person came up to you and blew on the wound and said, “There there, it’s all better now…don’t cry.” If you were brave enough, you would whimper and say “I feel sad” and how often have you heard, “Now, now, you’re not sad…come along now, let’s eat some ice cream”. Distraction was thought to be one way of helping an unhappy child.
Perhaps that was how things were in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s…or has it really changed that much? As adults, many parents are certainly more aware of acknowledging a child’s feelings. But many still carry the mindset of stiff upper lip and you have to toughen those kids up if you want to prepare them for the real world. I agree that we need to help a youth set boundaries on when and where to express intimate feelings but one still needs to recognize them. To set aside until at a safer place or time is one thing but not to teach only to stifle their feelings, to not recognize certain triggers that may alert a person to prevent impulsive behavior later! We need to teach our youths how to be self-aware to self-care.
And what about someone who is “madly” in love with someone. How often to you hear, “Oh she/he is so needy…co-dependent…in French we overuse the term “dépendance affective”. Yes there are persons who may have this strong need to be approved, to be loved, to be noticed…but all too often we label anyone who is head over heels with another person. I like to explain to youths at work how great it feels to be in love especially those first few months when we are in that “GA GA” phase…crazy in love and can’t even think of anything else but that person. It has actually been scientifically proven that those stages neurotransmitters in our brain jump hoops and ride like a roller coaster. That need to be with a person is our brain reacting. But let’s not go into the science of this because it takes the fun outof feeling all goofy and dreamy.
There are so many discussions we could have just about now. There are so many directions I could go with this now but I will stop because I think I made my point. Be mindful of your critical comments. They are not always “just in fun”. You know they are sometimes rooted out of your own misconception and sometimes lack of understanding. There is nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t see it that way but maybe I am not understanding how you see it.” Sometimes it’s okay to just say, “Let’s agree that we disagree.” The latter does not make you or he/she wrong…just of a different outlook. We cannot all see life the say way…we look out of a window and interpret the world painting it with hues from our past, shaded with life experiences.
© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/12/21
This post was inspired by a poem written by The Real Cie I read last week at Poetry of the netherworld at Blogspot. and was given permission to share. It was a response to a list of words used as prompts to create a story or poem. I’m inserting a few lines to entice you…
Forever Your Little Loser
They say that I’m a lunatic
They say I’m nothing but a loser
Because I say I want to take a spacecraft
And go spinning past all the planets…continue reading here.