March 20, 2015 by phicks2012
We are all allowed to stress out from time to time, right? After all, all of us have triggers that send us down rabbit-holes into Buckle-Underland where we hide under depressingly drab toadstools and refuse to answer our phones or check our email for a day or two.
Most of us have gone through periods of fear, fogginess or frustration, and shut ourselves away in our rooms tucked under our woobies because we just don’t want to deal with anything or anyone else right then.
Many of us have gazed with longing at our phones, wishing we had someone to call and talk to who might help us to cheer up or to stop feeling so fearful or angry or depressed, but knowing that our friends are either at work, or have problems of their own to deal with and really don’t need to hear about ours as well.
So what do we do to pull ourselves back out of our various pits, slumps and bouts of melancholy when all we really want to do is to have something positive happen, or to have someone tell us with authority and conviction that everything is going to be all right…REALLY???
Mostly, what we need to do (for ourselves) is something positive to enhance our self-esteem. Maybe we need to undertake a project at which we can shine, or create something wonderful in which we can take pride. Maybe we just need to take positive, successful steps toward accomplishing an important goal. Anything that makes us feel better about ourselves, and more in control of our fates, can help.
What we DON’T usually need is to go to friends or acquaintances or loved ones who are going to listen impatiently to our woes and then dismiss our concerns — or very helpfully point out that we really haven’t considered all of the possible negative outcomes that might conceivably be anticipated.
I mean, if we’re stressed about finances — which is what most often sets me off — we don’t need to be told that what little we have saved for retirement is probably going to be stolen by identity thieves, that our vehicle can’t possibly last another year, That taxes are going to rise, and that Social Security and Medicare will probably have folded by the time we need them anyway — not if we’re in no position to actually DO anything about it.
If we’re stressed about a relationship we don’t need to hear that relationships never last anyway, or that our significant other is probably cheating on us — unless, of course, it’s more than mere speculation and actually happens to be true. Then we need to know in order to kick his or her cheating ass to the curb.
If we’re stressed out about our children we don’t need to be told about all of the negative influences our kids are probably being subjected to and how high the odds are that they will do drugs, get pregnant, or be bullied in school. We probably already know those things, which is part of the reason we’re stressed.
If we do turn to others, what we DO need is some positive and constructive advice, and some good old fashioned emotional support. Assuming that we aren’t the sort of people who complain constantly enough to suck the joy right out of our friends lives, we need someone who cares enough to listen and to console us when the bottom seems to be falling out of our own lives.
We also need to stand ready to reciprocate when our friends experience their own emotional downturns — to listen, to care, and to soothe — maybe even to help if we can, or to make them laugh. Fair is fair, after all.