Casual criticism and judgement might be doing more harm than you can imagine.
A dear friend whom I talked to today was struggling emotionally. She lost interest in so many things that she earlier used to and finds herself constantly preoccupied with her thoughts. She feels more anxious now. Something which she never bothered with. As a friend, I wished her the best and told her she can overcome this difficult time but as a person who’s involved in the field of psychology, I wanted her to reach out to a professional.
I urged her to seek help not because I’m trying to advocate for my field but because I knew that it could help her. Even then I could feel slight apprehension from her side, as society and her people won’t be able to understand her going to therapy. She is a happy-go-lucky girl who looked fine and healthy.
This brings me to a very important question.
Can it be assumed that all is well just by mere appearances?
Is it not possible that someone might be dealing with a lot of conflicting feelings inside that are disturbing their mental health?
Making them question their very existence. All the while maintaining a façade that everything is okay.
If you are someone who at some point in your life has commented or passed criticism on someone’s mental health then you may be
- Pushing them to the edge
- Making them feel dejected
- Negating their feeling
- Upsetting their healthy recovery
It might not seem like a big deal to the person making those comments but it might be uncomfortable to others.
How to conduct yourself then?
- Resist the urge:
Making that one little “supposed” witty comment about someone’s mental health might make you seem cool in front of your peers but ultimately make you look bad. In those instances, resist the urge to be critical. it might be hard to do so but over time you will get used to it.
- Try to emphasise:
We often want others to understand us and act accordingly but rarely return the favour. It might help you to understand someone by putting yourself in their shoes. Try to emphasize what that person might feel and how you would feel if the roles were reversed.
- Think ahead:
Thinking before speaking is considered as an integral skill. Before saying something that might come across as passing judgement think and ask yourself whether your comments can hurt others. Think ahead before speaking and refrain from making judgements.
A final note-
Every day we meet and greet so many people some close ones and others, mere acquaintances. While a huge number of people we come across are just random strangers. But, each and every one of them has a story. They have a life; they have their hardships and battles to go through. We should never judge someone’s life or be critical of them based on what we do on the outside. For all you know, the one little comment that you make might make a huge difference to them. For someone struggling with their emotions judgement and criticism will be a blow to their self-esteem.
It is understandable that you cannot be considerate all the time and it might be difficult to understand when people are hurt. Try to use your intuition during those times and act accordingly.
Be careful for your words and action can have a huge impact on how someone perceives themselves. Be kind if you can. Refrain from doing anything that will make the matters worse. Afterall what might be just a comment to you may potentially hurt someone’s feelings.
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