When you have feelings people don’t understand

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LogoJPGSomething in life that I find incredibly frustrating is when people don’t allow you to have feelings. To qualify that, I mean that people don’t allow it when you have a feeling they don’t understand. They tell you to laugh about a situation instead of being upset. They tell you to ‘not care’ when all you want to do is punch a wall.

Sometimes when things happen in life, we try and offer advice and platitudes because we hate to see our friends and family upset about something but I think that sometimes we just need to let them ride out their emotions. We need to accept that whilst we may not feel that way because of a situation or event, we all react differently and instead of judging each other, we should simply offer comfort and a listening ear without judgement.

I have a lot of anxiety about returning to Sydney. I’m incredibly excited but can’t help but worry that it won’t work out despite everything indicating it will.  I understand when people tell me not to live in the past and that they want to reassure me by saying that ‘everything will work out’ but in the middle of the night, when I no longer have a distraction for my thoughts, those words offer me nothing but pressure instead of comfort. I can’t help but feel afraid.

It’s incredibly difficult not to get caught up in the excitement of it all when it’s all still so uncertain particularly because I have no back-up plan if Sydney doesn’t work out.  I’m putting ‘all my eggs in one basket’ and given that that method failed so spectacularly last time, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified of it happening again.  I genuinely don’t believe I could cope with another devastating loss just months after the first time.  I suppose the difference being that I am at least trying.  There are moments or days where I truly worry that my dreams won’t come to fruition. That by daring to dream, the Universe will somehow punish me for trying to break free of my depression.

I simply need to be able to feel what I need to without judgement. I know that thinking negatively won’t help and believe me, I’m doing everything in my power to stay positive but when I’m having a bad day and I’m worried, I need to be allowed to feel it even if it’s not a ‘productive’ emotion or justified in someone else’s’ mind.

We all have different experiences in our lives. We are shaped by what we have seen and done and as someone who is highly sensitive and emotional, feeling the world deeply, I often struggle with the big questions and thoughts about life.

We often try and steer people towards different emotions when they don’t ‘fit’ the way we think they should i.e. if we believe someone is over-reacting but as I’ve said, we all have different experiences that shape the way we think and feel and really, we have no right to judge that person.

There was a situation I recently found myself in, something I will explain soon, and everyone told me not to be embarrassed and to ‘shout it from the rooftops’ but I could do nothing but feel vulnerable and sad about it. Most people couldn’t understand my feelings and kept attempting to tell me to see the funny side which I’m not quite ready to do and the more people tried to tell me how to feel, the more frustrated I became that people weren’t attempting to see why I was feeling the way that I was.

We have to remember that we all go through different things in life and feel very differently about them.  What one person may feel about one situation, someone else could feel totally the opposite.  You may care when someone ‘unfriend’s’ you on Facebook or you might not care less.  We have different priorities and experiences which shape how we feel and act and therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to emotions.  We need to stop trying to force our ideals of emotions and feelings on other people just because we don’t feel they ‘fit’ with the situation or how we would necessarily feel about it.

LISTEN to each other.

Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply – Stephen Covey

  • Mark


    The advantage to having all your eggs in the same basket is that when everything goes dramatically wrong, there is invariably an egg that somehow wobbles and rolls it’s ungainly way, away from trouble, into a new situation. (Did you like that)?

    So here you are: about to go again.
    May you have the time of your life.

    • Toni

      Mark – I like the wobbly egg analogy a lot 🙂 I will certainly try and have the time of my life! x

  • mo


    It truly is amazing how life hands is things we are ready for. Inside ourselves, the struggle sometimes feels relentless, the mire a little too deep. But the passion is always there, to sauce forward, push in an upward direction, even if we don’t know if it will lead us to exactly where we are needing to be. I guess it is a true sign we haven’t lost our hope in carving out our own piece of the world. It’s taken me half a lifetime to finally get to a somewhat closer place to what is ME. Now that is a reason to celebrate. From dinner with has pushed uphill for most of her life, by your writing, I know you are about to embark on what will leave you in utter amazement and finally tee joy and peace that you’ve always deserved.

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