“I feel so guilty when I have to say ‘no’ to someone.” I hear this sentence regularly in my work with my female clients. They sometimes then say they believe it is because they have been conditioned by society to be kind, compliant, and to never upset anyone. I believe this to be true. Yet, I think there’s more to it.
No matter your political stance, pro-Trump, anti-Trump, or Trump neutral, I think we can all agree that right now, people are stressed. And fearful. And angry. Tensions are running high. Since even before the 2016 election, clients were coming into counseling talking about their concerns related to politics. I continue to hear story after story about how it is affecting people and their relationships. I hear about families having blowout arguments, some even choosing to skip family events due to the likelihood for political debate. I hear about people being unable sleep, various groups being terrified of their rights being taken away, fears about the economy and jobs, fears of being physically harmed, and people just being fed up with discussing it.
One of the hardest parts, in my experience, of beginning to practice self-compassion is getting an idea of what it would sound like to do it. Does self-compassion sound like pity (“Oh you poor thing”)? Is it like cheerleading (“It’s okay! Get back up again, you can do it! You’re #1!”)? Does it sound like coaching (“Okay, so you messed that up. Here’s what you need to do next…”)? Continue reading