The below excerpt is from the self help psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.|
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
(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
(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.
More Excerpts This Chapter
EMOTIONAL HEALTH = MENTAL HEALTH
ANGER AND OUTRAGE
HOLDING ON TO THE RAGE
ANGER KEEPS COMING BACK
LOVE 1 2
SKEWED EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION IS RAMPANT
SADNESS © 1995-99