“I Know People Have it Worse…”
Thanks for the emails & questions so far — keep them coming.
Before I even get to answering specific questions, I’d like to address something that has come up in a lot of the questions, and very often — comes up with clients individually & in groups.
It’s a variation of “I know there are people who have it worse…and I should be grateful for….” and the guilt some people have for feeling bad, suffering, or experiencing negative feelings about a tough situation they’re finding themselves in.
So the conversation goes something like “I’m having this and this issue, and it’s causing me so much unhappiness, stress, anxiety, distress or _________”
“I know there are people who have it worse than me…”
“I know I should be grateful for all the things I have in my life”
“I feel guilty complaining about it”
Both are true.
Emotional life lesson #1: You can have two opposing feelings and thoughts at the same time.
Emotional life lesson #2: Learning how to do #1 often takes a lot of work.
You can be having a tremendous amount of distress about an issue that someone else would dream about having as the worst thing in their life.
You can be suffering real anguish about a situation at work even though you know lots of people have it worse, that there are children who don’t have food, or that people are stuck in war-torn countries, or that the homeless person you passed in the street doesn’t have a home to go to.
All those things are true. All those things are true at the same time.
Emotional Life lesson #3: Your feelings, and emotions about a situation are valid, even though there are people who have worse things going on in their lives.
How You Can Use Those Feelings in a Positive Way:
Now, those feelings and thoughts about how some people have it much worse can help you gain perspective on what’s going on in your life.
They can allow you to take a step back and be more objective and rational about it. They can help you count the blessings, and wonderful things you have in your life.
They can help you appreciate that you’ll get through this situation.
They can help you be grateful for what you do have, and to use those things to help you get through whatever situation you’re finding yourself in.
What those feelings and thoughts should not do:
What you shouldn’t do to yourself — what you shouldn’t torment yourself about — is that your negative feelings about a situation aren’t worthy of having, are frivolous, are silly, that you shouldn’t be feeling badly about.
Emotional Life Lesson #4: When something negative, or bad, is going on in your life your feelings are valid. They’re your feelings.
Emotional Life Lesson #5: You can use those feelings about what’s going on in other people’s lives to gain perspective and take actions in other ways. When you’ve settled your situation and are in a better place in your life, you can contribute, or join, organizations that help people in those terrible situations. Keep them in your awareness in order to help make the world a better place.
First make your life better. Sort through the situation in your life that’s causing you distress, trouble, anguish, anxiety, sorrow, dissatisfaction (and on and on). That will put you in a position to think more clearly, and take positive actions about other issues going on in the world.
Emotional Life Lesson #6: Don’t minimize your feelings because “other people have it worse”. Both things can be true. At the same time.
Your life is like no other. sm
Have a great one,
Kiki aka Coach Kiki
aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA
© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.