Sad People, Mad People
By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Id and Ego Blog Series
There’s a theory I developed and I’ve been sharing with various people in need. I think it’s good advice for us all so I thought rather than tell a handful of people one at a time, why not tell a… slightly larger number… (ah, self-effacing humor) of people all at once.
I can’t remember in exactly which instance it came to me, but I’m pretty sure I was feeling cruddy – and not the mild disappointment kind of cruddy, the sort of cruddy that only wants to feel more and more cruddy (maybe “cruddy” isn’t the right word for it )- at the time. ANYWHO, you get the general idea – I was doing my sad girl thing - listening to sad girl music, drinking wine, sitting in the dark – when it hit me – what the heck?!
Why am *I* the one sitting around feeling hurt? I’ll bet [name removed to protect the guilty] is hanging out and having a good time right now!
I realized we had two different natures. I was a sad person and [guilty] was a mad person. Further, I realized that pretty much everyone fit into one of these categories.
Sad people (people that are more likely to be sad) are people that take on more than their appropriate share of responsibility. Unconsciously, they feel they are in control of everything and while that CAN be a very empowering place to come from, it can also be a tremendous burden.
When their car breaks down (out of sheer bad luck), when someone snubs them (because they’re a judgmental jerk), when they STILL haven’t received that raise (because their boss is cheap), they feel it is their fault.
They excuse outside sources for their part in the situation and take more than their fair share on themselves.
Mad people (people that are more likely to be mad) on the other hand, are people that take LESS than their fair share of responsibility. Unconsciously, they feel outside sources are responsible for everything - which CAN be wonderfully freeing, but can leave them feeling out of control and disimpowered to enact beneficial change.
When their car breaks down (because they neglected maintenance), when someone snubs them (because the last time they saw them, they were rude), when they STILL haven’t received that raise (because they spend all day slacking), they’ll blame anyone but themselves.
They excuse themselves for their part in the situation and leave more than a fair share on outside parties.
In An Ideal World (The Advice Part)
Of course, those are the extremes.
In an ideal world, we all rest comfortably smack in the middle of the two – feeling sad or mad only where appropriate, understanding our own responsibility as well as the responsibility of others.
The advice part being that whether you are more of a sad or more of a mad type of person, you need to recognize that tendency inside yourself.
That sad people recognize when they are inappropriately taking responsibility for the events or the actions of others and that mad people recognize when they are not owning up to their own part in the situation. That’s the first step.
The second, as odd as it may sound, is not that they should just get over it. Instead, my advice for sad people is “Try being mad!” about mistreatment from others and my advice for mad people is “Allow yourself to feel sad.” about your part in the problem.
THEN move on.
It’s a simple enough concept, but of course, it’s an easier-said-than-done-situation. I mean, what I’m talking about is a pretty major lifestyle/personality change – and those are the hardest changes of them all! Still, it gets easier every time you successful switch gears.
I’m hoping this helps somebody…DANG IT! ;)