Monday, March 16, 2015

Your Problems Are Valid.

Recently I've noticed that when confiding in a friend, I'll preface my situation with "this is so stupid but..."

Why in the world would I do this to myself?

While I'm meaning to convey to the other person that I know the universe does not revolve around me, my introduction actually comes across as me belittling myself. I've noticed that there is a lot of shaming and one-uping in everyday life. "Kids in Africa would love to have that leftover." "Your back may hurt, but my knees have been killing me all month!" This is dumb. Straight up. This is dumb. 

We may not notice it, but when we say things like this (however true they are) we are deciding not to validate that other people have problems. In some cases, this kind of talk is even very selfish. By reminding the person that you hurt too, you are shifting the attention to yourself. When you tell them that other people have more important things going on, we are subtly communicating that they are not valuable enough for us to just hear them out. 

How many times has simply talking out a problem with someone else helped you? It wasn't necessarily the advice they gave you that changed your outlook (although sometimes that is the case), it was more about having someone listen. Just listen. 

Sure. Some problems are bigger than others. Yes. Many problems pass over quickly (thank God). But in the moment when you feel yourself struggling, there is no reason to believe that your struggle is not valid. If something bothers you, it does. You cannot pick what you are passionate about and you cannot pick what gets under your skin. 

You wouldn't try to diminish little victories, so it doesn't make sense to diminish little problems also. No one should be embarrassed of their feelings. There's no point in always trying to be perfect, so stop. If something's bothering you and you need to talk, do. Don't badger everyone with your problems, but don't leave the opportunity to help yourself feel better either. Dwelling on a problem and acknowledging a problem are two separate things. 

Only recently have I come to realize the healing power of talking things out. Go try it. You won't be disappointed. 

1 comment:

  1. SO true! "Your feelings are valid simply because you feel them." one of my all time favorite quotes :)


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