NROP: It is alright to not be alright. Feel what you feel and let others feel the way they feel.

Most people try to spread happiness with a positive goal in mind. They hope that their smile will cause others to smile and therefore make them feel better. While I do not deny that such an effect is possible, I wonder if anyone ever thinks that their smile can actually make someone else feel worse.

In a recent post, I wrote about how May/ spring sees a spike in suicides. If you missed it, please feel free to check it out –> HERE <–. The simplified explanation to “Why are there more suicides in that time period?” is that those who are depressed cannot stand everyone else acting all happy and reborn, excited to start anew. It is not because they do not want others to be satisfied with their lives. It is because it reminds them of their own misery. It makes it that much clearer that their lives are worse than those of others.

I speak from experience when I say that other people’s happiness can be triggering. I have had people tell me: “You are not being yourself” before. I ask them: “What do you think I should act like to appear myself?”. Most of the time the answer is: “Well, I do not know, but…” Then I proceed to tell them that it is all a part of me. That shakes them up a bit.

We are all allowed to feel the way we feel. Sure, ideally, we should not be affecting others negatively, but if I stay away from you, do not force me to smile just so you can feel better.

Last week, a co-worker of mine came up to me asking who changed the smile into a frown. Supposedly it was dampening their mood. There are those magnets on the board in the common area, which are currently not being used. A person with a very bubbly personality decided to arrange them to form a smiley face. Even though I found it cheesy, I left it be. Admittedly, because random positivity does not always suit me, in the beginning, I was not happy about that display, however, I learned to live with it. It was not affecting me, because even if in a bad mood, I could just choose not to look at it. However, a couple of days ago, I caught another one of my co-workers changing the smiley face into a frowny one. That was how that person was feeling that day. Funnily enough, the upside down smile actually made me chuckle (a more positive reaction than to the smiley face!). The arrangement of the magnets was so well done. Plus, I thought it was really interesting that someone was able to express their negative feelings so openly. I thought it was frowned upon. (Pun intended.) 

Over the next couple of days, I witnessed certain people whispering and forming plans about the faith of the frowny face. And one day someone changed it to a more neutral one. I know who did it, even though that person and their accomplices choose to act as if it was not them. It started out as a creative design and a “feel good” symbol, and turned into a power struggle. Office politics, I tell you.

I knew I wanted to write about the above but was not sure how.
“It will be one of my Hashtag Week posts” – I have finally decided.
And then came the perfect solution – I read that Burger King is introducing a play on McDonald’s Happy Meals. They decided to call them “Real Meals”, which I think is rather bad-ass. There is only one type of Happy Meals, while there will be FIVE Real Meals choices. There will be:

  • Pissed Meal (mad)
  • Blue Meal (sad)
  • Salty Meal (bitter)
  • YAAAS Meal (excited)
  • and DGAF Meal (Don’t give a f**k).

It seems like the content will be the same for all of the above (full-seized Whopper, fries, and a shake). Unfortunately, there will be no toy inside, and so I am still figuring out if I am on board with “Real Meals”, or not. The packaging of the meal will be different (different colors and smileys).

These will only be available in Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Miami. If you live in any of those cities, feel free to sample it and let me know your thoughts. I am considering taking a trip to one of those cities…

I think it is a genius idea on BK’s part (Would you not feel like an impostor if you wanted a Happy Meal, but felt less than that?). Even though BK is a company looking to earn as much money as they can, I give them kudos for partnering with Mental Health America to raise awareness regarding mental health, especially during the month of May. Their slogan is: “Feel your way.”

It boggles my mind why being happy is acceptable and even encouraged, while feeling sad is fought. Do you not realize that what you are doing is pushing people towards isolation? If they cannot express their emotions freely, and if they are being shunned from feeling less than ideal, then it does not surprise me that such people get depressed, and try to harm themselves.

We are told to be on the lookout for warning signs when someone is struggling. We are encouraged to listen when other people need to vent. Telling someone to smile (or that their frown makes you feel bad) is like slapping on a band-aid on a wound they did not know they had. The band-aid is bound to fall off sooner or later. If we put a dressing on a wound and do not check up on it, it might fester, leading to necrosis and eventual amputation. It is difficult to live with the knowledge that you were not able to save someone, but living with the knowledge that you were the one who placed a gun in their hand is so much worse.

How do you REALLY feel today?

Are you ever guilty of not letting others feel the way they feel?

What do you think of Burger King’s idea?

Stay golden,

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29 thoughts on “NROP: It is alright to not be alright. Feel what you feel and let others feel the way they feel.

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  1. The kid I sat next to at my HS graduation was a bully. He had picked on me and my brothers for nearly a decade. He cried all the way through the ceremony. “I never thought I’d actually graduate. Where do I go from here?” “College?” “Oh hell no!” He had nothing in his future. No plans, no aspirations. His best days at the tender age of 18 were already behind him. I don’t think he was alone in his outlook. Graduation for HS and college is a time of commencement–ok, you’re now officially prepared to meet the world! Well, it’s not true, but it’s the perspective each and every guest speaker at the ceremony will base their addresses on. And yet, so many of the participants will be looking back instead of forward. The best time of their lives is over. Now what? They can’t face those next 40 years of uncertainty. It’s frightening, it’s chaotic, it appears to be out of their control. They might be left behind by girl or boyfriends that are moving on with their lives. They may be kicked out of the house by the parents that feel that the parenting job is over. I understand the suicide rate in May.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I should ever go back and speak at a graduation ceremony. I’d be very honest, but that would probably depress every kid in the audience. When I was graduating, I was looking forward towards the future. It’s not to say that I hate my life now. It’s just that I think life was so much simpler back then. So much more “fun” in the simpler of terms.

      Like

  2. I’m that magnet rearrange-er! I am on board with being more open. I got the how are you greeting the other morning and out of not being disrespectful, I took a breath and said “rocky.” I was then reminded that even the hard times are part of life. To refuse, deny, or push away what we are feeling is to say we don’t want to participate in life. We as a society need to learn to take the lows with the highs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good for you! I’m glad you were able to express your feelings and that you encountered someone who didn’t just walk away, complaining about you ruining their mood.
      The lows with the highs indeed.

      Like

    1. I have not thought of it as I wrote the post, but your comment definitely made me stop and ponder. I think these are meant mostly for adults (therefore no toy). However, I can imagine:
      Mother: “Daughter, what do you want?”
      Daughter pouts.
      Mother: “C’mon, we’re blocking the line.”
      Daughter: “I wanted you to buy me XYZ.”
      Mother: “What do you want to eat, or I will order for you.”
      Daughter: “Fine. I will have the pissed meal.”
      LOL

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Most of the time, I think it’s just people overcompensating. I bet most of the people who have difficulty being a sympathetic ear, have troubles themselves. Maybe I’m just projecting. I’m not very good in situations like that. I feel like I ought to say the “right” thing, but I don’t think I don’t know how to do that. I feel I’m a veritable fountain of… Well, I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s rainbows and unicorns. Yet, rainbows and unicorns feel safe. So that’s what comes out. Even if it’s false. Even if I get this sinking feeling as I say it. Even if I know I’m not helping. But I tell myself that at least I’m not hurting anything, and simply leave it to my betters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It might be. I know that I don’t always enjoy listening to someone whine when I’m having a tough time, too. If it’s a close to me person, I will, though. If it’s a random person, I would probably just listen briefly and nod and express some comforting words and then move on. I try not to deny anyone my superior listening skills.

      It seems that the people around me don’t lend a sympathetic ear is because they don’t want to get in a bad mood, or they don’t know how to read people. The thing is that I’m not good at making people feel better. I’m just too… realistic. So I listen and sympathize, but that’s where it ends.

      You’re doing good then. I think people appreciate your attitude.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lol! “Superior listening skills.” I need to get out more. I can’t even imagine having trouble with people like that, who speak too much and hear too little. My world consists primarily of people with the exact opposite issue. When it comes to expressing ourselves and just generally being a human being in the face of another… We suck. An introvert thing, I guess.

        Heh. I don’t know about “doing good.” My definition of “rainbows and unicorns” may be a little underwhelming. See, I like people. Well, the idea of them. But they make me nervous. In defense, I often turn to “c’est la vie” mode. At its best, that’s what one of my brothers once observed as a very chill, “hippie” attitude. At its worst, possibly haughty and unfeeling. I often feel more like the latter. Although now that I’m thinking back… I guess I do have some passable moments. Huh.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Funnily enough, my friends and I were talking about something similar yesterday.
    The whole argument was about society. It’s crazy how society is bent on turning everyone into robots. It’s almost like it’s now a crime feel pain, anger, and other negative emotions.
    People now frown at you when you express these emotions because it affects them. So they ask you not to feel those emotions — they ask you to feel what they want you to feel — just so your mood doesn’t change or affect theirs. In my opinion, that’s just selfish. But people will always be people…

    I think Burger King’s idea is a nice one. I’ve always loved expressing myself with emojis, colours, and the like. If I lived in any of those cities you mentioned, I’m sure I’d frequent BK almost every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a whole new way of looking at things espically the need of cultivating a sensitive approach towards different people as per their current situation. I am so richly reminded also I regret my inability if there has been such instances where I fail to notice or study what the people I met were going through.

    Also personally in my case too, there has been such bad days,week,months even years when I don’t feel like talking with anyone, that kind of bad times where I just feel like punching anyone I see. During those times I gets comments from friends like “you look so grupmy, dull, boring, etc etc” some even tells me “please smile often”. And believe me, these comments makes me feel even worse. I end up feeling more miserable then before. Thanks to this post of yours that has help me reflect upon such times and also reminded me to be more sensitive while dealing with others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know that some people don’t want to see us upset and they want to help. However, saying: “You look grumpy. Smile.” is not helpful at all. It just goes to show that your facial expression bothers THEM. And if that is the case, they should not make YOU responsible for that. If they truly do care about you and want to make you feel better, they should dig in deeper to get to know you and your problems. “Smile” is not something you can just slap on someone.

      Liked by 1 person

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