“I’m so pissed off today. This happened and that happened. Why are they bothering me with this kind of stuff? I planned to do so much today and this had to happen,” she said, pulling her hair out. She was overwhelmed by the events of the day and venting to her husband. But then she worried that she’d said too much. She ought to be able to handle this herself. Other people did, or at least, it seemed like they did. Was she so easily tossed about by the events of the day? And to make matters worse, before her husband could even respond, she said, “I’ll get the hang of it. It’s just that this is all new to me,” and walked away.
Do you see what happened there? This woman totally invalidated her own voice. It was clear she was upset about something, yet she couldn’t acknowledge that she had a right to be upset. Instead, she felt guilty for bothering her husband with what she decided was a trivial event.
YOU FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL:
Many years ago, when I was having coffee with a friend and talking about something I was struggling with, as women do, I felt guilty for what I was feeling and said so. She responded with, “You feel what you feel.” In that moment, I felt completely validated. My friend was encouraging me to trust my feelings. They are mine and no-one else’s, and therefore, worthy of being acknowledged. So why is it, we keep forgetting this powerful, but simple, message?
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS:
I think the answer lies in the fact that when we look around, we see that others appear to be handling things really well. I’ve had friends in my life who juggle a whole slew of activities with aplomb and at the end of the day, they are way ahead of the game. And when it comes to disruptions – those things that get in the way of the activities, they change course with cool precision.
A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE:
I think we have to recognize that everyone has a different way of dealing with things. One way is not better than the other, it’s just the way we operate. If you are like me and need time to adjust to change, then that’s the way it is. It you have a hard time dealing with things that come out of left field, then that too, is OK. It’s just the way you role. Some people work more effectively when they have fewer things to focus on. Know this about yourself. It’s OK to acknowledge that, “Yes, I’m upset right now. This is happening and that is happening, and I’m having a hard time dealing with it.” Sometimes you just want to be heard. Sometimes you just want to be validated – that your feelings matter to someone else. But more importantly – that your feelings matter to you.