How to be a really good, optimistic friend
Saying “I understand.” and giving a hug is NOT a negative response. This is what people need more than your too-soon optimistic advice.
When people are hurt, sometimes they need to get out their feelings. Expressing them takes the pressure off the heart and mind. Inside the mind they grow more powerful and negative, when spoken out loud, they seem to shrink. Especially when told to a caring soul who really “gets it” and gives them a hug.
Expressing feelings is not pessimistic! The reason it feels better to tell someone is that they feel acknowledged and valued, which they didn’t feel when your feeling were hurt. This heals said hurt and that is sometimes all they need to begin to let it go.
But sometimes you, with genuine, good-intentions say things in hopes to make your friend feel better but actually make them feel worse. Your advice is not bad, “You have to let go!” or “Don’t take it personally.” or “Move on.” It is just mistimed.
You WANT them to feel better, like, now! But when anyone feels hurts and have not gotten their feelings out, these recommendations, while positive and sound, feel invalidating. It becomes a double whammy. They’re hurt and now they are “not handling it right.” Even though being hurt is entirely appropriate for what happened.
It is because this optimistic advice comes too early.
You CAN help them feel better NOW and not get stuck into the negative. First allow people to feel. When they are allowed and feel compassion for their feelings, their hurt heals and they don’t hold onto it any more.
It is only after that that they can step back and see the situation from a big picture view which is what you want them to do!
You can stay optimistic and bring people positive attention and hope for their future. You can use optimism to see the positive in your friends and in the world. We need you to do this! Keep it up. But make sure you are not invalidating people, because then you are allowing negative to live on a little longer.
In fact, negative energy is often healed through acknowledgement.
How to Be Optimistic (But Not Annoying!)
Optimism doesn’t mean ignoring the negative. It means going at it with compassion and seeing from the big picture view that there is much more than that! In today’s new video I explain how to be optimistic, but not annoying!
How To Be Optimistic (But Not Annoying!) Click To Tweet
You are a really great friend. Thank you for caring so much.
Did you know that you can be annoying yourself too, by beating yourself up for feeling?
Tell me what happened when you validated your friend?