You don’t get to tell people how to feel. In fact, you can’t tell them how to feel and have it make anything like a positive effect. Typically saying those things makes the people being told feel worse. How they feel is their reality. You telling them to “not be that way” isn’t helpful. And it shows that you aren’t empathetic. Their feelings may be out of sync with the situation. But those are their feelings. You and I don’t make matters any better by telling them, “Don’t be that way.”
This is important to remember. I know I’ve been guilty of it in the past but I try to remember that we can’t tell other people how to feel or what they should do. All we can do is listen, empathize, and offer advice **if asked for it.**
It’s that last part I struggle with most. I want to help and want to make things better. But sometimes people just need a sympathetic ear, not advice or a lecture.
Do yourself a favor and read the whole piece. It’s not long but it’s very important.