There’s Nothing Wrong with Being Sad

Think how often you have witnessed someone crying, only to hear a well-meaning friend say, “Don’t cry!” We take a valid emotion and turn it into something to avoid.

I remember feeling very uncomfortable when people cried. I wanted to “fix” sad people and make them happy again.

But then I lost someone dear to me. And another loved one. Then several more.

And now, I feel differently.

When other people tried to fix my own sadness, my eyes were opened to how unhelpful it really is.

Now, I’ve come to the conclusion that sadness has its perfect place, and should not be ignored or fixed. Instead, it can be embraced and engaged, trusting that sorrow is meaningful.

Sorrow has its place, just as do laughter and even anger.

Though we mean well by trying to “fix” those who are sad, we only invalidate their experiences and emotions. We downplay whatever made them sad and try to rush along their recovery artificially. With our actions, we are telling sad people they are broken and need to be fixed immediately.

The grieving man needs friends to be with him. Not a band-aid for his soul when he instead needs empathy and a safe place to vent and be sad!

Once I went through sadness for myself, it became clear: sorrow is not the problem.

Our response to sorrow, however, is the problem.

“Don’t cry,” is just not the right thing to say, and I hope to never say it ever again. Instead, I will try to just be with you, giving you permission and freedom to be sad.

Why is it so tempting to cheer people up when they are down?

  • Timbeans

    thank you. there is this new-age spirituality going around that is all about positivity and the absolute abolishment of any emotion beside a ‘positive’ one. while being positive isn’t a bad thing, its a huge mistake to write off entire portions of yourself. there are reasons to be sad about things, being sad can be uncomfortable and being sad around others can make them uncomfortable, either directly as someone being empathetic, or indirectly from something someone buried and never dealt with. feeling an emotion is a way of overcoming a mental hurdle. it can be debilitating and even painful, but running away from these things is a giant mistake. There lies the reason people want to ‘make’ others happy, people always run from ‘painful’ things in pursuit of ‘pleasurable’ things. its a really big problem. Now, a final note, there is a fine line between dealing with something and being overcome by said thing. the difference between real depression and self imposed depression. falling into a steady state of ‘sadness’ is just another form of denial, just as running from sadness is a form of denial. denial is the real death.

    • Great thoughts to ponder. It’s so much easier to deny emotions than it is to embrace and learn from tough situations. I wonder if denial hints at an unwillingness to — or fear of — change.

      • Timbeans

        yeah, probably, at least in part. i realized not so long ago that most things or issues are generally multifaceted. For whatever reason in this world we are born as these amazing innocent immensely open and creative beings. For some of us, being around other people who have forgotten that thing, maybe either not being able to practice it, or just not seeing it reflected enough, whatever reason, there are a lot. Well, it generally starts to make someone ‘closed off’. You know, like turning into a rock, and that is what it is, i but i don’t think the vast majority of the people even realize it happens necessarily, or at least don’t have a very visceral understanding of it. so, yeah, i guess as an underlying base, yeah, denial could just be the bases or unwillingness to really take a person’s being and therefore state into account. That.. that can be a traumatic experience though. fully realizing, being aware of how you are as a whole, piece by piece. the ‘payoff’ though.. :D the pure grandous and immenseness of life in all its magnificence, all it beholds laid our before you. :) the transcendence of momentary ‘happiness’ for pure joy.