• Marie Winefield

Encouraging people to look on the bright side may not always be that helpful

When a friend / loved one / colleague is feeling upset, do you feel a strong desire to cheer them up and encourage them to look on the bright side?

Or maybe give them advice on what they should be doing to feel better?

Or possibly start telling them all about your own troubles?

Often when people are feeling low, all they need is someone to be present.

Someone who is willing to sit with them in their sadness or despair or frustration without trying to 'make it better' or distract them.

There is something powerful and healing about having someone just sitting with you and allowing you to feel however you are currently feeling without trying to ‘fix it’.

But it takes courage to do this. Especially if you feel discomfort around witnessing and displaying these emotions yourself.

So, the next time someone around you is upset, be curious about how you react. How comfortable are you with just sitting with them? Maybe you feel the urge to cheer them up or ‘make it better’ or ‘fix it’? If so, could this be more about your own discomfort than meeting the needs of the other person?

Demonstrate to them that you can acknowledge and bear witness to their feelings. Then notice the positive difference this can make to your relationship.

Warmest wishes

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Marie is a BACP qualified counsellor and psychotherapist whose mission is to help you live a happier, more fulfilled life. If you would like to learn more, or are wondering if therapy is the right choice for you, please get in touch for a free 30 minute free telephone consultation.

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