Your partner just dumped you. You are reduced to a snotty pile of misery, while your heart is being ripped out. And at this precise moment, one of your friends tells you “it’s just another lesson in life that will make you stronger,” or “I wonder what the lesson in this was.” Another all time favorite is “why do you think this happened/you’ve attracted this?” Let me tell you why! Because I sometimes have my signal wrong. Because I fell in love with someone I should have ran from. Because I took the wrong job. Because I sometimes make stupid decisions. Who cares?! Thank you for making me feel even worse by implying that I deserved what happened. That’ll bring me right out of my sadness and give me a whole lot of new found strength. NOT!
Ladies and gentlemen, here is the deal. If you are telling me this while I am sobbing my eyes out, chances are big that I’m going to punch you in the face. There is nothing, absolutely nothing worse than pseudo-psychologists and New Age BS when you are down in the dumps. Yes, when I am over the initial sadness and shock I absolutely want to dissect what happened and make sure I don’t repeat my mistakes, but please, spare me your enlightened crap until I am ready.
Having lived in CA for almost 23 years, I am fully aware how eager we all are to become much more enlightened beings. Boy, do we run to therapy (ALL types of therapy we can find), Kabbalah sessions, yoga workshops and self-help gatherings, so we can be ready to spew our new found pearls of wisdom, which we generally don’t use ourselves – EVER – with those who are unfortunate enough to be in our presence when the proverbial shit hits the fan.
The thing is that none of this stuff has made us compassionate, or even tactful enough to get that the last thing our friend needs right now is our Zen BS; especially not after we have spent the last couple nights stalking our ex on Facebook, got in a fight with a co-worker and/or engaged in other signs of douche baggery that clearly show that we don’t really live what we preach.
Sometimes, I really had to catch myself, because I wasn’t aware that I started doing the same crap to my friends. After all, I’ve learned social queues and behaviors by watching those around me, something that most of us who weren’t born and raised here do. Hence, after a few years in beautiful CA, I’ve started talking like everyone else; and boy, aren’t we one giant ray of friggin’ sunshine at all times?! We don’t get sad, we are cheerful and we don’t engage in our “lower selfs” by being too ego driven or a victim. We embrace all our smacks in the head and, just like Jesus, we turn the other cheek and yell “May I have another.”
Of course, none of it is authentic. What we really want to do is punch the jerk who ripped our heart out, or the boss who made us feel small, right in the face, drink a bottle of wine, cry ourselves a river and conclude that we truly are the saddest person in the world right now. And what we really want to hear from our friends is that we are beautiful, smart, capable and awesome and that we will find the right job/relationship, because this one was a doozy.
The fact that we have been conditioned in this society to always be positive, because we don’t want to be “Debbie Downer” is something that I once happily embraced, until I realized how fake it all was. I am a positive person, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel anger or sadness and express it when bad things happen to me. It doesn’t make me a negative person when I break down and cry, temporarily hate myself, or the world, and engage in a bit of self-pity. I don’t think it has ever helped me to hear that I will be a better person while I was suffering. What has helped me were those who, sometimes silently, sat next to me, with their arm around me, telling me they are sorry and helping me to plot the demise of the person who helped cause my pain. There is a huge difference in supporting your friend and enabling someone who just keeps creating drama in their life. I am lucky for having had friends who stood up for me, stood with me and had no problem allowing me to feel whatever I needed to feel at the time and allowed me to go through the process; which sometimes took me a while.
Which brings me to the last part of my rant: Stop telling me that no one makes me feel anything and that I am in full charge of all my emotions! I’ve got news here. I am human, I have feelings and they do get affected by those I care about. It doesn’t matter if it is work or home, when those I trust hurt me, treat me unkindly or make callous and mean remarks, my feelings will be hurt. That doesn’t make me weak, it makes me human. So please, keep the “he didn’t make you feel that way, you chose to allow him to make you feel that way” BS to yourself. In return, I’ll swear I’ll help you plot the demise of those who cause you pain, hold up your hair, while you puke from drinking too much and cry with you; unless you need that pseudo psych/new age BS, in which case I’m going to tell you that you’ve got what you’ve deserved, because we all create our own karma and merely have to learn to attract what we truly want