We all know someone ( or many someone’s) who constantly require us to be positive, outgoing and happy all the time. We may even try to put on a false smile around them and go along with all their demands to be jolly and enthusiastic no matter what we could be going through, but should we have to?
Are we bad if we aren’t more like them?
What those people may not realize is that often they can ostracize many people and repel people who don’t feel able to mirror their feelings and beliefs. We are all different for a reason.
I could even suggest that such people are as difficult and demanding as those who are far more quiet, realistic and introverted as their needs tend to overshadow everyone else’s and they set the emotional tone in the room.
I will be the first person to say that I appreciate a kind word or a hopeful sentiment just as much as the next person, it is one of many coping skills in life, but I don’t feel the need to cling to such behaviors constantly. Sometimes I am quite happy to acknowledge that life is difficult, painful, stressful and unavoidably cruel. We are allowed to be realists and we can allow ourselves the time and space needed to be sad and uncomfortable. It is by going through such times that we learn how to come out the other side. Its healthy and important to learn. It’s even courageous to be able to show others this side of us! The real side of us.
I came to this realization late in life after trying to always be the positive and happy clown amongst my circle and family. Constantly lifting people was especially hard when I felt extremely flat inside myself. But I endeavored to hide this and not really address it. I went through burn out a lot! I was giving more than I got!
Anytime I did go through emotional times not only was I shunned by those people I revealed my feelings to, but i was treated as though I may be unstable or mentally broken if I dared to be real or open. I often wondered how many others felt this way? Because people rarely speak openly and honestly about such things we can often believe that we must be Inherently flawed or broken. Such an awful and untrue perspective!
Looking around we are inundated with happy faces, positive slogans and told that to be loved and successful we must always be happy and vibrant all of the time. At this time of life I just can’t believe that this is true and I am prepared to let go of those people who require this from me in preference to having a genuine and authentic life experience. I am prepared to push back and grow!
By constantly hiding, covering, masking, ignoring and repressing our feelings I believe we are causing ourselves more harm than good. We are choosing to be people pleasers instead of real people.
I believe that people who experience the full range of feelings are not only more stable and complete individuals but we are more able to cope with what life hands us.
We are still important and can be loved and loving.
Without experiencing the entire range of feelings surely we can not hope to be understanding and empathic of others. People who live within a small emotional scale don’t seem better or stronger to me, I don’t believe they have better lives than me.
I look at many of my family and friends who live within a limited emotional range and I now understand why I always felt disconnected with them and fake. There seemed to be this strange need to be strong and gutsy within my small town family background. The harder the better; seems so pointless to me now. It is no mystery to me now why we were never really close. I am convinced that this is where a lot of drinking, drugs and other destructive behaviors are started, all for the purpose of hiding and disguising the pain and difficulty in life.
Many people who need to always be called strong, hard, positive and inspirational make a rod for their own backs and I don’t want to be one of those people anymore. I want to be me. The genuine me.
I respect the choices and wishes of others who decide to live within the emotional range of their choosing, I wish them every happiness in their life, I just don’t see it as my failing if I am not like them and more like me.
On any given day I can feel many different emotions and they can pass through me without me feeling quilt or failure and I am happy that I have discovered this at a time in my life when I require it the most.
It makes it easier to accept being me and living my life and that must surely count for something!