So yesterday, I was pretty much called weak for showing emotion. We were talking about what age was a good age for kids to go to sleepovers…and I remembered this one sleepover I had when I was 5ish and woke up at night and was upset and wanted to go home. I was laughing about it because I was DOWN THE STREET from my house. I could see my house from the window…and I wanted to go home. Aah…the things we do when we’re kids.
Anyway, someone said to me “I would have expected that from **** but not from you; I though you were strong”. There are several things that are wrong with that, most of all, the fact that the incident occurred ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO so I’m not the same as I was when I was five. But also, since when does showing emotion make you weak?
This conversation continued on…and I revealed the fact that I have a hard time not getting teary eyed when other people are crying. I have no problem with the fact that I’m that way. My co-worker’s mother is quite ill. She got a little teary when she was talking about the latest news about her mother, because she was teary…so was I. I have no problem with that. The only problem I have with that is the fact that if I want to be a therapist, I’ll have to learn to control that a little more.
Right. So there was an entire conversation about how people who cry and show emotion are weak. I just didn’t get it. When I learned that it was ok to cry in front of someone, I felt stronger. It’s scary to show your vulnerable side…doing that means admitting you’re not perfect. It means you’re human and that you too get hurt sometimes and make mistakes and don’t always know all of the answers.
I felt so judged. I felt like this person now sees me as a different person as the person she say the day before. I feel like now, everything I say to her will be taken as “oh well, she’s weak so that’s why she is doing that” or “I can’t listen to that advice, the person who gave it to me is weak”. I know that it is not my problem it’s hers. But it scares me that this is a person who is in a “helping” field.
Showing compassion and emotion is not a weakness. I think I’d rather be thought of as weak and emotional than cold and uncaring.