Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional, merely a mental health enthusiast and supporter. I am aware that for some individuals, certain things are not under their control, even their own minds. Please be aware, this article has been written with the intention of helping those who want to change their mind-set, who are seeking encouragement in life or simply for those who just want to read. My heart goes out to those who are suffering from mental illness and to those who are victims of despicable situations.
I know I am not the only one who has encountered either or both of the following when sharing feelings with others –
a. “It’s just a phase, you will get over it”
b. “Don’t feel bad, others have it worse”
Now, I don’t want to say “people who say these sort of things are all bad people”. However, I will acknowledge that sometimes people are simply not aware of what to say and they also have absolutely no interest to be aware of such things. This kind of people say either or both of the above simply because –
a. These are the responses they received when they tried to share something that meant to them at a given time
b. They simply think by saying either or both, they are helping us be mentally stronger
The point I am trying to get at, is that when others say such things, they do not always necessarily have bad intentions. At the same time, the argument is, “these people should educate themselves”. Good point there, but this expectation immediately puts the power of our emotions and well-being on to other’s hands, especially those who do not deserve to have any impact on how we feel.
So how can we deal with insensitivity? First and foremost, the common mistake we need to prevent while sharing our feelings is expecting the listener to say the things we want to hear. We need to understand, everybody goes through different situations and phases in life and not everyone will be on the same wavelength as us. We should analyse and figure out who we can reach out to or what we can do when going through a tough time. This will develop over time and we may need to come across a few insensitivity before we find a solution or someone who can empathize and listen.
You need to understand that you have values, and your feelings are genuinely valid and legit. You should not let them to be shattered by an individual who fails to understand the importance of support and who has no interest in educating themselves about it.
Written By: Fariha Rahman
Fariha Rahman is a curious individual who focuses on self development. She moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue her Master’s degree from the University of Greenwich and later worked as a Project Manager in a company that provided IT and web development solutions to charities across UK, Europe and South America.
She is currently on a career break enjoying time with her newly wed, and also working on things she is passionate about, mental health being one of them. She also enjoys a wide range of hobbies, starting from nail art, makeup artistry, interior designing, video games, playing the guitar and singing. She always looks for new things to learn and she believes she needs to work more on herself to be able to help those who need support.