Okay, Maybe I’m Embarrassing Myself A Little.

“So many female friends of mine feel like they have to be overly gracious and nice to compensate for their ambitions, because there’s this sense of having to swap one form of femininity for another. And honestly? Not every woman is warm. Not every woman is friendly. And they don’t have to be. Some women are reserved, some are biting, and some are mean. Humans are weird creatures. There are a whole lot of different personalities.” – Maddy Foley, 6 Backhanded Compliments Every Ambitious Woman Is Tired Of Hearing

In the last week, I received some interesting feedback related to my reactions about Donald Trump being elected President. I’ve heard things like I’m overreacting, I’m embarrassing myself and I’m not operating at my best. These comments are coming from people that clearly do not know me very well or know me at all. If you do know me, you would know that social justice runs in my veins. It also runs in my family. My grandmother is an avid fighter for social justice and my grandfather had planned to go into politics before my biological grandmother fell ill.

I’m a woman and women are allowed to be angry, pissed, frustrated, rage filled. We are also allowed to say fuck. If this makes you uncomfortable – it makes you uncomfortable but I will not compromise my values or shrink to fit into some mold.

That being said, I am also in love with my life. I am hosting a Thanksgiving Celebration with friends and family this weekend. One of my best friends is driving in to spend time with us. I plan on seeing some Harry Potter movie that I know nothing about. ESPN will be doing Game Day here on Saturday and I can’t wait for my brother to get to participate in that.

You see, I can be a fighter for social justice and go to work and love my friends and family and laugh and cry because I’m fearful for the people I love. It’s just all so complicated being a human.

What follows was the original post which I think captures this complicated woman stuff in a little more detail.

A few days ago I was reading an article about backhanded compliments made towards women and I encountered the above quote. I think it is perfectly written and it captures an experience that I have long struggled to articulate. I don’t have to be nice. I don’t have to smile. I don’t have to be friendly. If you can accept that I’m a complex person and not a Stepford Wife, I think you can get what I’m talking about.

Let me back up a bit. I believe being kind and compassionate are healthy ways of interacting within the world. In fact, pages of research support living a compassionate life. And, it simply feels better for me to go through the world with as much kindness and compassion as possible. However, there are days and situations where I just can’t be kind and kindness is not indicated.

If I were able to adapt Foley’s incredible string of words to better fit me, I would add: all the time. I think that I try my best to be good, nice, kind, warm, and compassionate. Be that as it may, it is impossible (and ridiculous) to set the expectation to be that way all the time. There have been times and there will be times when I am reserved, cold, and biting. It is part of being a complex human being. 

I’ve been in a number of  situations where I needed to be “biting” to get what I needed, or what a family member needed, or what a friend needed, or what a client needed. In those instances some people had no trouble calling me a bitch. I don’t believe I’m a bitch. I believe that saying that, is a way of trying to shut me down or shut me up. Frankly, if you do feel like I’m being a bitch, I’m not too concerned. I don’t know a woman that hasn’t been called a bitch, so I’m in good company. 

I really struggle with the sweet and quiet aspect of femininity. I identify as a woman, and feel it is absolutely impossible for me to be sweet and quiet on a regular basis. I would explode and, more importantly, it would mean living dishonestly. For this aspect of my personality, I’ve paid social consequences (e.g., been called a bitch, told to be quiet, asked to shut up, been threatened by men, been called butch, told I don’t know what I’m talking about, and openly mocked). I find it extremely hard not to be resentful of people that want me to “be quiet“. It feels like you are trimming away at parts of who I am. At this point in my life, I have much less trouble distancing myself from people that don’t appreciate these unique and integral parts of me.

The idea that women must be kind and warm all the time is absurd. No one is warm and kind all the time. Even more, some women are never sweet and kind. It is how they are put together. This does not make them bitches or bad people. If I’m being completely honest, I think “mean women” (aka, strong women) can be wonderfully intimidating. Sometimes, I am jealous of their ability to speak up and speak out about things without the (noticeable) incessant worrying related to perception.

So, Maddy Foley, thank you for your words. You gave voice to thoughts I’ve had for a long time.

Love.

Advertisements

I Really Need To Talk To You.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

The holidays seem to be a time when people are brought together (for better or worse) and communication is part of the game. I want to focus on some strategies related to having challenging conversations.

Without healthy skills, many of us avoid conversations (and get resentful because people can’t read our minds) or we plow through them like a wrecking ball. The biggest problem with communication is this phrase: They should just know this is what I want/need. 

NO! We cannot read each other’s minds.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw

Might I suggest a few strategies related to talking about challenging things (e.g., my feelings are hurt because, what you said upset me, I need more from you, I’m feeling like this because)

  1. Do I need to talk about this now? Sometimes we are grumpy and we pick a fight so that our outside world matches our inside world. If this is the case, allow yourself some space to get into a better place emotionally. Sometimes if you give yourself 24-72 hours you may realize that you don’t need to have the conversation. It is best to be sure of this before starting.
  2. Can the relationship handle the weight of this conversation? Some relationships are not strong enough to handle the pressure of high expectations. Before starting a tough conversation, consider if the relationship can/should bear the weight. Also, some people have different perceptions of relationships. For example, you might think you have a certain type of closeness with someone and they might not realize you feel this way.
  3. Breathe.Take several deep breaths. This tells your brain that the person is not an adversary. The goal is to preserve the relationship, not destroy the person. Pausing and breathing will prevent defensiveness and reactivity.
  4. Ask the person if this is a good time to talk. If the person says no, ask them when a good time might be. It is best to set the conversation up for success and timing is everything. 
  5. Give the person the benefit of the doubt. Most people are not trying to hurt you on purpose.
  6. State your concern as kindly and compassionately as possible. If you are having a serious conversation with someone you care about then act like it.
  7. Listen to what they have to say. Patiently and kindly listen. Take your time with this process.
  8. Remember that what you say and what they hear are often not the same. So, ask questions.
  9. Conflict does not mean fight. Conflict is healthy and normal. Fighting is not healthy and gets you nowhere. The goal is to better understand each other, not to win.
  10. Believe the person if they say they did not know or notice that this was a problem. Remember we are all pretty self-involved and they can’t read your mind. 
  11. If the other person gets defensive, pause to listen to them and breathe. Please do not return with more defensiveness or reactivity. This will lead to a fight and will be detrimental to the relationship.
  12. Let it go. Do not go over it and over it, again and again. When you feel like you’ve expressed yourself the best you can and you feel like the other person heard you the best they could, let it go and move on. Do not hold on to resentments to use later. The process will not be perfect, but if you care about each other it will reach some end.
  13. Accept that some relationships will not survive this process. Let those relationships go. They may come back around and they may not, but don’t force a relationship to be something it is not.

Love.

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”
Fred Rogers

Addicted To Fear.

“Then she told herself to stop her nonsense. If you looked for things to make you feel hurt and wretched and unnecessary, you were certain to find them, more easily each time, so easily, soon, that you did not even realize you had gone out searching.”
Dorothy Parker, The Portable Dorothy Parker

Are you watching the news right now? Please, turn it off. Humans are sponges and we’ve been absorbing the gross fear and negativity that the media is shoving down our throats for years. I am not encouraging ignorance. I am merely suggesting some moderation.

The 24 hour news cycle is destructive to our psyches because fear is addictive. Our brains are wired to seek out problems in the environment. When we turn on the news we are stimulated by the bright colors and sounds and we are sucked in by the the fear machine. We talk about it at work. We call our friends and share our fears. We beg them to be fearful with us. We want them to be safe. We are scared. 

Pause. Breathe. You’re safe.

Fear makes us reactive and defensive. Fear causes people to use the primal part of their brain when problem solving as opposed to the logical rational part of our brain . This leads to poor decision-making.

In small doses fear is the emotion that helps keep us alive. When we are healthy, our fear safely guides us through life. However, we are absorbing fear through every pore in our body by watching the news, scrolling through social media, listening to talk radio, and reading online. Then, we get angry. Fear tells us we are under attack. So, we end up in needless arguments or barricading ourselves in our homes.

Why do we buy so many guns after a mass-shooting? We do so to protect ourselves. But, how many guns can you use at a time if you were being attacked? The stockpiling of arms is fear based problem solving. Frankly and kindly, life is not like a Die Hard movie and most of us aren’t trained military or law enforcement. We are vulnerable even when we’re armed, no two ways about it. I would prefer not to spend my time here scared, worried, and angry.

Please, turn off the TV and step away from the computer. Take a vacation from the news this weekend. Hug and kiss the people you love. Play with your dogs and sit in the sun. Even better, watch a Pixar movie. I firmly believe Pixar is the best thing about this country. Soak up some love this weekend. The fear will be waiting for you on Monday if you want it back.

Image found here. 

My GPA Was A Lie!

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.– Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Emotional intelligence accounts for 80 percent of career success.”
Daniel Goleman

I spent a better part of my time in school chasing the perfect grade point average. Embarrassingly, I once (successfully) negotiated a grade increase much like Cher did in the movie Clueless. I was certain that if I reached the perfect grade point average my life would be smooth sailing. My life has not been smooth, but I doubt that has much to do with my inability to maintain a 4.0.

Once I started graduate school, a realization struck me in the form of a check sheet. I was invited to help with the admissions committee and was presented with the criteria for admission to the graduate school. The GPA requirement was not a 4.0, it was much more reasonable, and the check sheet included other background areas, such as: volunteer work, employment experience, and the personal essay.

Because I loved school so much (and did not want to adult yet), I set out for even more graduate school. I was even admitted to an exclusive program without reaching the “acceptable” score on the required standardized test. During interviews, one professor thought it was problematic, but the others were not concerned. I was later told by a faculty member that my tendency towards neuroticism was going to kill me if I wasn’t careful. This was his area of expertise and I did my best to chill out.

Now more than a decade into my career, not one person has asked to see my GPA. I used to provide my high marks on my resume/CV but was told by a friend that was also a manager that “it really wasn’t necessary to do so.” (nobody really cares).

I recently came across a study that put this all in perspective.  Thomas Stanley, PhD discovered that there was no correlation between grades and professional success. In fact, “The average SAT score for the sample was 1190.  Their most frequent grade in both high school and college was “B.”  Their GPA in college was 2.9.  They typically did not qualify for admission to an “elite” college or university.”

So, grades don’t matter as much as you think. What does? John Mayer (the researcher, not the singer) found that emotional intelligence was a far better predictor of success than grades, IQ, and standardized tests.

What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?

EQ is a combination of five different markers defined by Daniel Goleman, an expert on emotional intelligence:

  1. Self Awareness
  2. Self-Regulation
  3. Internal Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Skills

To be fair, tests and grades are still important in assessing mastery. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to study with talented and brilliant people. It is not that I wish I would have done poorly or been less focused on grades. I just think we can do a better job of creating a culture that forces young people to also achieve high marks on emotional intelligence. In fact, it appears if you are kind, you just might be more successful.

Notable exceptions to the kindness equals success equation are Steve Jobs and Donald Trump. Although, there might be more to success than money.

“People with well-developed emotional skills are also more likely to be content and effective in their lives, mastering the habits of mind that foster their own productivity; people who cannot marshal some control over their emotional life fight inner battles that sabotage their ability for focused work and clear thought.”
Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition

Love. 

 

Monogamy?

“Why would so many risk their reputations, families, careers—even presidential legacies—for something that runs against human nature? Were monogamy an ancient, evolved trait characteristic of our species, as the standard narrative insists, these ubiquitous transgressions would be infrequent and such horrible enforcement unnecessary. No creature needs to be threatened with death to act in accord with its own nature.”
Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

This post contains topics related to sex and sexuality. 

Before we get to the topic of infidelity (coming in the next few weeks), I feel it is necessary to first discuss monogamy. Let me explain why this is important. Many couples partner without having an explicit conversation related to what monogamy means for their relationship.

In the early weeks and months of a relationship, it is important to establish the expectations related to exclusivity. It is also critical to revisit the expectations as the relationship grows and develops over the years. Sometimes, one partner feels like they are following the rules of the relationship and the other feels that the rules of the relationship have been violated.

Isn’t it obvious what monogamy means?

No, it is not. 

There are some aspects of monogamy that are often assumed. For example, many people assume that monogamy means that sexual intimacy is limited to the people in the relationship. The problem is that the definition of sexual intimacy is not clear. Are long physical embraces with some people (or anyone) a violation of the expectations in the relationship? Is kissing breaking the rules? Is desire or attraction a violation?

What about other types of intimacy? Does this mean that other forms of intimacy are acceptable? Is it okay if your partner has a close emotional relationship with past partners or people they may feel some attraction? What about spending more time with close friends than with your partner? Even if there is no sexual component?

Is it a violation of monogamy to view pornography? What constitutes pornography?

Is it acceptable to carry on a in-depth conversation on social media with old or new friends? How about having a back and forth with someone across the world while playing video games? Is it okay to text photos to friends? What kind of photos or snap chats are appropriate for whom?

Some people read the list above and believe that the answers are pretty clear cut. Others believe that it’s all grey and that it depends. The problems arise when there is no conversation related to these topics and lines get crossed. This is a challenge for couples at any point across the life-span. There is a growing number of older couples that find “old friends” on social media and violate terms of monogamy. Basically, you never reach cruise control in your relationship where you don’t have to talk about these things.

I hear all types of definitions of monogamy. Each couple gets to define what that means for them. And, some people have no desire to be in a monogamous relationship. It is best to be honest in your relationship and have these (sometimes uncomfortable) conversations as opposed to assuming you are both on the same page. You might be, but what if you’re not?

“Marriage requires a special talent, like acting.  Monogamy requires genius”. -Warren Beatty 

Guest Post. As A Christian, I Feel Heartbroken All The Time.

Author: Una Henry

Opening Facebook is becoming more and more of a chore. The second I open it, I instantly regret it. I cringe as I read through my newsfeed. Social media has given us all instant access to a wide audience for our opinions, and the loudest opinions seem to have their origins in anger and fear.  Freedom of speech also means the freedom to think before speaking: to think about the repercussions of your thoughts; to think about the audience to whom your speaking; to think about whether your thoughts even need to be said.

I feel as though my Facebook feed is divided into two groups. The people I grew up going to church and Bible college with, and the people I’ve met since my undergraduate studies. I struggle because one group talks about how people are hurting and we need to help them, while the other oscillates between talking about nothing and talking about the things that make them angry. Sadly, it’s only a minority of Christians who seem to care about those who are hurting. In fact, supposed Christian leaders in our government are making moves to keep out those who do not share their faith.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, I watched as most of the people in my friends list changed their profile picture to reflect the French flag. However, I did not feel united in solidarity with these people, I found myself angry at their hypocrisy. I found myself angry that they cared about the deaths of people an ocean away, while ignoring the deaths of people of color in their own country. I found myself angry that if I tried to talk with them about this, I would be painted as “anti-cop”, “anti-patriotic,” or perhaps most hurtful to me, “ungodly.”

Hate is being spread throughout this country in the disguise of patriotism and faith. Therefore, when someone tries to call that hate for what it is, they are labeled as “unpatriotic” or “ungodly.” This makes fear, anger, and hate unassailable, for they stand on a foundation that cannot be questioned without defaming the character of those who dare question.

As a therapist, I understand the virtue and purpose of anger. It serves to protect us from hurt and fear. But anger is a sword. It can be used to protect or used to hurt others. It’s easy to get angry. It’s easy to stay angry. Letting go of anger; that’s a real challenge. It is a challenge to which it seems few are willing to rise.

When Jesus was asked which of the 10 commandments was the greatest he replied:

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

It seems that people are ignoring the second by claiming the first. As if to say, “my priority is God and my faith, and as you do not share that faith, I owe you nothing.”

Be brave. Do the hard thing.  “For whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:31-46

 

 

I’m Doing The Best I Can.

“Other key themes discussed are how perfectionistic self-presentation and self-concealment can lead to suicides that occur without warning, and how perfectionists often come up with thorough and precise suicide plans.” – Dr. Gordon Flett

Perfectionism might kill you.

There is no such thing as perfect. There are no perfect relationships. There are no perfect children. There are no perfect jobs. There are no perfect lives.

Can we stop trying for perfect and settle on doing the best we can?

Culturally we revere perfectionism. We encourage people to aim to be perfect despite the impossibility of ever reaching such a place. In job interviews, we claim perfectionism as our best quality and others think that is an admirable confession.

My best quality is that I am never content or satisfied with my life. Really? That is not praiseworthy, it’s delusional.

Perfectionism is, and always will be, unattainable. This means that when you make your goal to be perfect at anything, you make the goal impossible. This will always leave you feeling like a failure.

The bottom line is that we all want to be loved, and some of us believe that we are only lovable when we are perfect. I have heard people say “I will date when I lose weight” or “I will apply for that job when I’ve had more training.” This is ludicrous logic.

I suggest we change the goal to: I’m doing the best I can.

Sometimes doing the best I can means I get up early, I get some laundry going, I pick up around the house, go to work, see several clients, go to the gym, walk both dogs, help with dinner, and do some writing. Some days the best I can do is drag myself out of bed and maybe complete one of the aforementioned tasks.

I understand that if you have children this means you have other lives for which you are responsible. But still, you have to give yourself permission to do the best you can as a parent. Some days you will be a super parent and feel like you’ve conquered the world. Some days you will war with your children and your partner and burn dinner. It is possible, and likely, that you are doing the best you can in both situations. 

Your children are paying close attention to your perfectionism, so I encourage you to demonstrate “doing the best you can.” Once, I was at a birthday party coloring with a five year old girl. She was coloring a dinosaur and went outside the lines a bit. She proceeded to berate herself for making such a mistake, crumpled up the picture, and threw it away. I tried to convince her that the picture was beautiful. She would not even look at me.

“Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”
Brené Brown

We have to make peace with the idea that most of us are doing the best we can, with what we have, where we are, and sometimes it’s a mess.

Love.

I’m A Good Person, I Don’t Deserve This.

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Perhaps one of the hardest things for the human mind to comprehend is that bad things happen to good people. In fact, more often than not, bad things happen to good people. I believe this, because I believe most of us are good people and eventually bad things will happen to all of us (to varying degrees).

I listen to people protest, “I’m a good person why is this happening to me?” My usual response is a compassionate shrug followed by, “I don’t know.” Truthfully, I almost did not write this post because all I know about why bad things happen to good people is, “I don’t know.”

Life is not a simple math problem: being a good person does not equal a good life.

I don’t know why people die tragically or why people develop crippling illnesses. I don’t have any idea why sudden infant death syndrome exists. I don’t know why some relationships stop working. I don’t know why love fades over time for one person but not the other. I don’t know why your loved one abuses substances. If you watch the news tonight, you will see that lots of good people were going about their day and something terrible happened to them. I don’t know why.

I also don’t like when people try and explain why bad things happen. If you are a person of faith, Harold Kushner wrote and excellent book titled, When Bad Things Happen To Good People. I hate to spoil the ending but he basically deduces that even as a man of faith, he feels that man has no answer to this question. 

“The purpose in life is not to win. The purpose in life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.”
Harold S. Kushner

Then there is the notion of karma. This idea has been confused. The true meaning of karma is that life will consistently present you with circumstances where you have the option to open and love (or close and hate). The situation usually involves suffering because that is when our hearts are able to soften and open the most. It is technically not, “what goes around comes around.” It feels a bit vengeful when people find comfort in the idea that karma will get someone. I don’t think it is healthy to wish pain on even our worst enemies.

It is healthy and necessary to take a moment after a bad thing happens and have some time to reflect. After that, gather your thoughts and emotions, dust yourself off and try to find your next step. It is of no benefit to spend much time trying to figure out why things happen the way they do. I suggest having a conversation with your support system on how to move forward instead of trying to figure out why it happened or how things should be different.

Sometimes we make bad choices and are faced with consequences. In that event, please do pause to consider how you can make better choices moving forward. But again, all you can do is move forward. If you get stuck focusing on how your bad choice led you to a bad place you will be unable to get out of that bad place.

When something bad happens, it challenges our understanding of ourselves. When something bad happens to you, it does not mean you are a bad person or that you have done something to deserve what happened. It simply means, something bad happened to you. Even if you made a mistake, it does not mean you are a bad person. Good people make bad choices. Good people learn from their bad choices.

There are some bad people in the world that intentionally inflict pain. The media does a fantastic job leading us to believe there are more bad people than there really are. Most of us are not bad people.

I do know that being a good person does not prevent bad things from happening to you or the people you love. I also know that we should be good people anyway. I think the only response that makes any sense is: I don’t know why this happened, but I am sorry and sad that it did.

“People get into a heavy-duty sin and guilt trip, feeling that if things are going wrong, that means that they did something bad and they are being punished. That’s not the idea at all. The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn’t understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you’re given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.”

– Pema Chodron, Buddhist Nun

 

Don’t Tell Me I’ll Be Fine.

“This is the problem with dealing with someone who is actually a good listener. They don’t jump in on your sentences, saving you from actually finishing them, or talk over you, allowing what you do manage to get out to be lost or altered in transit. Instead, they wait, so you have to keep going.”
Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

I think of myself as an optimistic person. For the most part, I try to see the best in people and situations. However, in the event that I am not feeling very optimistic or hopeful, the worst thing you can say to me is “Oh, you’ll be fine” or “It’s going to work out.”

These responses make me want to, simultaneously, scream and cry out in rage. It feels like I’m being ignored. These feelings are not because I do not believe you. I am sure things will be fine and will work out. The problem is in the right now, that is not the case. I need you to be in the right now with me.

A more understanding approach would be “I can see that this is hard for you” or “you look like you’re having a hard time?” The goal, as a listener, is not to fix the problem. The goal is to make the person expressing their thoughts feel validated and heard. 

It is not so much about what will be fine as much as what is in terms of how I feel right now.

As we talked about in the post of Validation: The Ninja Skill, I have the right to feel and think the way I do, even if your perception is different. In my moments of sadness or hopelessness, I need the people that love me to be willing to sit with those feelings as opposed to trying to fix them or force me out of them.

The same is true for when I am feeling hopeful about something. I would like it if you could share in that hopefulness, as opposed to telling me all the reasons it might not work. My worried brain has canvased the Dreadful What If Land terrain and I know that land mines can and will pop up.

I think, If you love someone, you have to be willing to meet them where they are and just listen to them. This demonstrates that you are willing to sit with them without fixing anything. Ultimately, we are not broken and needing to be fixed we just feel broken.

If I may suggest, please refrain from phrases like:

You will be fine

This will work out

She or He is in a better place (even if you/we/they believe in Heaven, this can feel invalidating during grief)

I know how you feel (that’s impossible)

This is what you should do______

I cannot talk right now

Ignore the person

You are always so dramatic

Ask how do you always end up in these situations?

Instead try:

I cannot imagine what this is like for you

I am so sorry this is happening

Kind Questions:

It looks like you are feeling pretty overwhelmed?

Is there anything I can do?

Do you need anything?

Some people do find themselves in bad situations again and again, and I am in no way obligated to go through those situations every time to demonstrate my support. In that event, I can say “I cannot be there for you like I wish could.”

This is an example of communicating honest, kind, and healthy boundaries

In my own experience, I tend to use “you’ll be fine” expressions with people I love the most. It’s selfish on my part because it hurts me to see them hurting and I just want all the hurt to stop. It is partly my attempt to convince myself that it will be fine. Sometimes, it’s a reflexive response that may unintentionally communicate that I do not care about how you are feeling.

I think we all just want to feel like our feelings matter to another person.

Love.

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh!” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
A.A. Milne