[…] This suggests that sadness needs to be explained. It also implies that sadness isn’t socially acceptable and grieving is something people should keep to themselves. Why? Am I unique in thinking that this is kind of fucked? When we’re in our sadness, most of us need the non-judging help, support and love of others to navigate that painful place.
When our friends come to us when they’re sad, why don’t we feel honored that they trust us with such a vulnerable emotion? Why don’t we hold space for them to be whatever they are for as long as they need to be? Why do we think we need to fix them?
Don’t tell your sad friend that she’s too sad. Don’t tell her that she needs to snap out of it. Don’t tell her that she’s too negative or that she just needs to flip her perspective. She needs to get to that place on her own. She needs to know that you’re there for her because you care. Period.
You can disagree with some one else’s sadness, but keep that to yourself. You don’t get to decide what justifies pain in another person’s life. When you can, be there for your friends by listening to them, hearing them and seeing them for what they are: human beings with a vibrant range of completely acceptable emotions. They are ultimately responsible for themselves and they will figure it out someday, but it’s not going to be because you told them to cheer up or gave them some “at least” hypothetical.
Just let people be sad. Sad isn’t wrong or bad. It hurts like hell, but you wouldn’t know pleasure if it weren’t for pain. Okay? Okay.”