The below excerpt is from the self help psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.
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SADNESS

Who wants such an unpopular feeling? YOU DO, if you want to be happy. This may seem bizarre, but it most assuredly is true. For unless you are able to feel sadness (and its relatives: sobbing, grief and tears), you will forever be avoiding sadness. Avoidance makes you prone to addictive behavior, psychosomatic symptoms, high levels of anxiety and acting-out skewed behavior.

Sadness is a natural feeling which, if unfelt, just stays in our array of unresolved trauma knots. As with other emotions, feel it and it will go away. Resist feeling it and it hangs around forever, periodically erupting inappropriately in our body's attempt to rid itself of associated trauma knots.

It has been most unfashionable to cry, most particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. Negative judgments were commonly made about those who did so in public. Politicians for many years avoided anything even remotely connected to tears. Today that seems to be changing. We all need to feel sadness and grief at times. If we are not to remain emotionally disabled, then we need to allow whatever sobs need to wrack us and whatever tears need to roll down our cheeks.

Emotionally healthy adults are comfortable saying the words I love you to men, women, and children in a feeling way.

Common inhibiting beliefs are: (1)my tears would never stop, (2)tears or sobbing would show weakness (unmanliness too), (3)others would disapprove.

(1)Of course your tears would stop. Don't histrionic tears of even the most melodramatic person eventually stop? The real fear typically is that of loss of control. If I let the tears or sobbing start, then I won't be able to stop them. They will stop of their own accord, probably sooner than later. You will stop them if you need to do so in an emergency or if that is your choice.


(2)Do tears and sobbing show weakness? NO, THEY SHOW STRENGTH! That is, of course, a different view from what many of us learned as children. Nevertheless, it takes strength and courage to allow all one's emotions (particularly ones that might be criticized) to be expressed. To be authentic emotionally shows much more strength of character than to hide one's unpopular parts. The person who cannot or will not express the natural human expressions of tears and sobbing could be considered emotionally crippled.


(3)There are still some who disapprove of almost any expression of sadness, because they are afraid to feel it themselves. The phrase "break down into tears" captures the essence of this disapproval. I have hopes the media will soon come to realize that use of "break down" in that context is unhelpful to society and fosters continuation of macho-male stereotypes. In the 1990s, given many tears by famous males, disapproval of sadness and tears is definitely on the wane. Hallelujah!


One common dilemma facing us in our relationships is what to do when our partner starts crying. Do we attempt to comfort or do we maintain a respectful distance? This may be likened to serving another person fried eggs. You probably wouldn't serve someone a fried egg unless you asked beforehand whether they liked it sunny-side-up or turned-over. Likewise, we had best check with our particular partners beforehand to find out their likes and dislikes concerning comfort vs. distance when they cry. Then one gives that partner what they want. (Be alive to the fact that such wants may change over time, perhaps even from one time to the next. Both partners need to keep communicating.)


Emotionally Healthy Adults (with respect to sadness)
1. are comfortable with sadness, their own and others.
2. allow their own wracking sobs and tears.
3. feel good once their sobs and tears have been expressed.
4. are not stuck in recurring sadness, which happens when (a)hatred is blocked, (b)one's spiritual system is an unhappy one or if (c)childhood hopelessness is being blocked.


The closer we get to the above, the happier we will be. Do you want to change some of your ideas and behavior concerning sadness? If yes, then make your desired change(s) a goal.

Next Excerpt  

More Excerpts This Chapter
   EMOTIONAL HEALTH = MENTAL HEALTH
   ANGER AND OUTRAGE
   HOLDING ON TO THE RAGE
   ANGER KEEPS COMING BACK
   LOVE 1 2
   SADNESS
   FEAR
   STUCK FEELINGS
   SKEWED EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION IS RAMPANT

SADNESS © 1995-99

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Q: The aspects of LOVE I have difficulty with:
infatuation followed by relationship breakup
finding love that lasts
saying the words "I love you"
I am not comfortable hugging men & women
2 or more of the above
I have no difficulties with love

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