Telling someone who loves you and who is trying to help you but isn't really helping what you actually need...well, it's downright hard.
Having the confidence to say what you need to your friends or family is perhaps one of the most challenging things that we do.
Because we don’t want to drive them away. We know they have our best interests at heart but...
When you feel funky or overwhelmed and you think you're going to burst into tears, this is when we all need someone who cares to step in...but in the right way.
It’s the times when you can’t help yourself. The negative thoughts take over and bring you down, down to the deep dark hole.
You say negative things like:
What's wrong with me?
I hate my life
Why is this happening to me?
I should have...
Everybody else does this, why can't I?
Now we're in the hole and we don't know how to get out of the spiral.
Your friend comes or calls and she's trying to help, saying things like...
"It's really not that bad"
"You know, you just need to change your attitude"
"You're just saying negative things about yourself and you know that's not true"
Wait. Stop. Not helpful.
What’s really going on is that friend or family member doesn't want you to feel sad or hurt so they try to fix it.
The reality is that you DO feel that way and chances are, their attempts to cheer you up just don't work.
This is when you have to say the hard stuff…
"This isn't helping me"
If you hear your best friend, your spouse, your sister, someone you trust say,
“Well, if you just…”
Or they try to "fix" the problem, then it makes you feel worse.
If someone you trust doesn't get where you are, if they don’t really understand how low you feel, no matter what, in some ways, it makes it all worse.
Sometimes your friend or loved one just needs to be WITH you. In the funkiness, in the black hole.
We just need someone to “get how miserable” we are. Take a moment to think of the last time this happened to you. And I bet it did.
You were probably looking for understanding, empathy, and some compassion?
What we don't need is:
Someone to fix it. Because they can't.
Sometimes we have to go through the feelings.
When you're down, you're down.
Your friend can help you get back out of the hole if they know what you need and want.
So tell them.
Put on your big girl panties and tell them what you need.
You can respectfully say,
It doesn't help me when you tell me what to do or try to fix it
What would help me is...
Give me a hug
Don’t tell me I shouldn’t feel that way
Let me know you get it, you understand
Don’t tell me what you think I should do unless I ask
Remind me that I can get through anything
If you see me overwhelmed, do something that will help me without my asking (a task that I just can't get to, something that is needed but I don't necessarily have to do)
When you see me down or negative, say something like...that sucks or that's really hard, in other words, just be with me in the pain of it all for a few minutes.
Then...remind me…that I've done hard stuff before and I can get through this.
What do you need right now?
Is there anything I can do?
What would make you feel better?
This is how you tell the people who want to comfort you what you need instead of what they think you need.
I suggest having this conversation before you’re in the dark hole.
So that they know for the future.
Have that conversation with someone who loves you, who you know will want to comfort you. Teach them how to treat you.
And ask them, too, what would help them when they’re down.
This, my friend, is how we educate people on how we want to be treated.
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.