Empathy vs. “always positive” attitude

What is the difference between empathy and an “always smile” attitude? How can they help, and how can they hurt? The difference between empathy and an “always smile” attitude is that empathy involves understanding and compassion for someone else’s feelings or experiences, while an “always smile” attitude seeks to perpetuate a positive outlook no matter the circumstance.

Empathy can be incredibly helpful, as it allows people to connect and understand each other more deeply. It can lead to more meaningful relationships and a greater sense of belonging. It can be a powerful tool when it comes to healing, as it allows us to show support and understanding to those who are going through tough times. Empathy is also a great way to build trust in relationships, as it helps us to understand and connect on an emotional level. By showing understanding and compassion to those around us, we can create a deeper connection and understanding with others. Listening is also essential when it comes to empathy; it allows us to truly understand where someone is coming from and be able to relate to their experiences. Listening with an open mind and heart can help us to develop the empathy we need to better understand and support our friends and family. Moreover, empathy can be used as a powerful tool to tackle difficult conversations or situations. When we take the time to understand and acknowledge someone’s feelings we show we truly care.

An “always smile” attitude can be harmful in that it ignores the realities of life, encourages people to disregard their true feelings, and discourages authentic expression. Some authors call this attitude “toxic positivity.” Toxic positivity is a term used to describe the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of positive attitudes. It can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or invalidation when people express negative emotions. This attitude can be extremely damaging, as it can prevent people from recognizing and validating their true emotions. Instead of simply being encouraged to “look on the bright side,” it’s important to acknowledge the complexity of life and all the emotions that come with it.

This doesn’t mean that positivity is bad or should be avoided. In fact, positivity and optimism can have incredible benefits for mental health. However, it’s important to recognize that life is composed of both positive and negative experiences and that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.

“Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what is behind them.”

(a quote I heard in one Active listening training)

They were nice to me, so this didn’t happen to you

I came across this post on Twitter, and I would like to share it here.

This is very true, many abusers are actually protected by being well-established in society. Simply, people around them can’t believe that “this good person” could do something bad.

I experienced this approach personally several times. I can’t specify the details, but it happened and not once.

I would like to tell those who have the authority to deal with abusers, this: please, when someone approaches you and tells you about something bad happening to them, listen. Opening up about abuse and especially pointing fingers at the specific person, in addition, respectable in society, takes a lot of courage. Trust me. If you simply say, “that can’t be true,” or “well, you are the only one saying this, nobody else complains,” you will just help the abusers to cover their actions. If you say “you know that this is a serious accusation, you can bear consequences if this is not true,” I may surprise you: yes, the person who approaches you knows it very well. And, I will repeat, it takes a lot of courage to come and say it. No normal person wakes up in the morning and says: “what would I do today? Oh, I know, I can accuse somebody of abusing me.” No, it doesn’t work like that. Those rare cases of false accusations are not an excuse to ignore the victim or to threaten with some “consequences.”

So, to conclude: if you have resources to help, please do it. If you don’t have, you can refer the person who is confiding to you to someone who can. But, please, don’t ignore, or downplay what you were being said.

A dilemma many child abuse survivors must face

Child abuse survivors often need to struggle with a dilemma of how to handle issues from their childhood. One side of the story is how things “should” be; another one is how they are. Many child abuse survivors have deeply embedded in their minds that they must look perfect, that their family must look perfect. This lie they needed to perform can become by time so deep in their minds they start to believe in it. Even when they are adults and far away from all those bad things, they may find it difficult to face them. True, it is easier to live when we try to suppress the truth and pretend that things were not so bad. But sooner or later, the suppressed trauma can burst out.

I came across an excellent short movie, dealing exactly with such conflict. I share it here.

Enjoy your watching.

My experience from the mental hospital and searching for the answers

One of the most important anchors for people with mental illness is that we can be sure we can rely on professional help. Generally, we can be sure that if our illness strikes again, we should be able to see the therapist or the psychiatrist. We should feel that they would show interest and try to help us.

However, I would like to share my experience from 4 years ago. In one of my previous posts, I told my story, when I almost lost my life. I’m suffering from depression and anxiety for many years, and that autumn 2017, I was going through pretty tough times. I experienced a series of disappointments and betrayals from people I thought I could trust. I don’t want to go into details; I just want to say my mental state was terrible. I was like walking in darkness. I attempted to end everything and I ended up in a hospital in ICU, four days in a coma. What I want to share here is the approach of hospital staff. And I would like to ask you to give me your opinion about this. You can share it in the comments below this post or just message me.

Continue reading “My experience from the mental hospital and searching for the answers”

15 Things People Said That Were Code for ‘I’m Struggling Today’

I came across this article today and I think it’s very true. I’m not very good with words and I noticed that I often use some of these phrases, when I’m asked how I’m doing.

15 Things People Said That Were Code for ‘I’m Struggling Today’

What is toxic positivity?

Probably the most repeated words when we talk to someone who feels down is to encourage them to think positive, to see the brighter side of the problem. Focusing on positive aspects of our lives is indeed good. It gives us the energy to move forward and to cope with anything that puts us down. But can positivity become toxic? I mean, can constant dwell on “being positive” be actually harmful? And what should we avoid if we want to be approachable and be true support for our friends or family?

I came upon the article discussing this aspect of constant positivity. You can find it on the below link.

A quote from the article: “Simply being with your loved one is the kindest act of compassion.”

Enjoy your reading.