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Yes, I'm Sad

And sometimes it is perfectly okay...

I feel like now is probably the time where we should be high on life and getting into the festive spirit. The year is coming to an end and the new year holds new opportunities, new goals and new experiences. But of course our lives are now governed by the C word and when we start to think about the situation we find ourselves, and constantly on edge about another lockdown being imposed on us it's very easy to sad.

But of course there's a lot of other things in life that can get us down and our instinct in response to people being down is always to "cheer up". I think this can inherently come from a good place of wanting our friends and family to be happy but actually have you ever thought that this could also be an impulse based on selfish desires? Now, feel free to disagree with me on this, I am in no way proclaiming this as fact but just an idea that maybe deserves some thought. Our reaction of wanting people to cheer up may actually be because we do not want to deal with or engage with someone who is in a bit of a mood or having a down day. Right? It's a conversation I recently had with a close friend of mine and was then reinforced by this dinosaur meme:

And this in no way makes us bad people whether it's a conscious or subconscious thing. But I do think it takes a certain level of empathy and emotional maturity to allow people to just be in a bad mood because also a lot of the time, well for me anyway, I don't want cheering up sometimes festering in your foul mood is okay. Because no matter how down we get 9/10 we will eventually get over it. Sometimes it's best to let yourself have those emotions, just as much as you ride out your positive emotions, riding out those negative ones is also fine. And let's not forget as individuals we all have our different coping mechanisms for how we deal negative moods. For some people you may not even be able to tell that they are having a down day, for others it will be very obvious. Both are okay.

What isn't okay is to expect everyone to be okay 100% of the time. There will be times where you may speak to someone you know very well, and they may not be acting the way you expect and it has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. We are all smart enough to know that no one is okay 100% of the time so how can we expect this from the people closest to us. And it isn't always something that needs fixing, it's not always something that needs to be spoken about. If someone needs space then give it to them, if someone is happy to talk but may not be their usual self then allow them to do that also. Is all this making sense?

One thing that has always frustrated me to no end is being labelled as "grumpy". And look, I am under no illusions that of course I can be "grumpy" we all can, and usually there is a reason for it. But people love to throw out the lines "WhY yOu So GrUmPy?", "ErGh yOu'Re So GrUmPy MaN", "StOp BeInG sO GrUmPy!" as if that person has never been grumpy before in their life. And actually did you ever think that maybe you're the reason why I'm grumpy? But I digress. I get dealing with "grumpy" people isn't fun or ideal but it is a reality and if we can all recognise the myriad of problems we face on a day to day basis then actually it should actually come as more of a surprise if someone isn't grumpy or down.

It's always something I'm conscious of with people I know who are always positive and in a good mood. It's very easy for us to expect this from then but what this does is closes down that space for them to maybe be a bit more mellow or down. Suddenly your normally over the top and exuberant friend is being a little quiet and suddenly the world is ending. Well no, your friend doesn't always owe you that version of themselves and actually we shouldn't always expect it.

If you expect your friends to always live up to some idealised version you have of them then they're not your friend you're a spectator expecting a show. But don't get me wrong, if you know someone well enough then of course most of the time they will meet the expectation you have of them and will act in a certain way but we must also give them the space to not be themselves if they need to. Having said this, I am in no way giving people an excuse to be rude or aggressive (even though this may be a by-product of negative moods). It is also on us to recognise when we are feeling this way and give ourselves the tools needed to deal with it effectively, we will get it wrong occasionally though.

It's a sentiment we hear a lot, if you want people at their best then you need to be willing to cope with them at their worst (of course there are some extreme exceptions).

If this wasn't made perfectly clear, all I'm trying to say is if I'm grumpy then leave me alone.

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