This is a comic about my own emotions, made to release my own emotions, and to cope with my own emotions.
Not just you. All of us.
I’m getting real sick of this “if you just spoon feed me information in the nicest way possible and then I’ll understand” mentality that persists among the white people of Tumblr. Guess what? I’ve tried that mess before and it doesn’t work! I’ve given multiple paragraph answers to people. Laid things out in the simplest, most bare-bones way possible for them. You want to know what I got in return? A bunch of hate, vitriol, and a parade of people who lacked the most basic of reading comprehension skills. I have dedicated an entire page of my blog to nothing but useful and relevant information on a wide verity of topics and the very people it’s directed to (the “please educate me” crowd), refuse to read it.
I am sick and tired of being expected to hold your hand like I’m your nanny. I’m not your mother and I’m not your teacher. The information is there if you seriously do want to learn something. If you’re reading this then I know you have access to an internet connection. Take your behind to the library and read a few books. If you do find someone who is willing to sit down and explain things to you, don’t take their time and patience for granted. The burden is upon you to learn, not us to teach you.
What you people are refusing to understand is, while you may view this as an interesting “thought exercise,” we have to live this. We have to live with racism, sexism, rape culture, and the like day in and day out. We cannot escape it by simply pretending it doesn’t exist. It is not theoretical or hypothetical for us. It is a hard truth that we cannot escape no matter how hard we try.
For a lot of us, this is where we come to vent the frustration, anger, and despair that we are forced to bottle up offline. If our posts seem “angry” to you, it’s because we are! This is the only semi-safe space that many of us have, and yet it is still constantly invaded by people who want to poke and prod and dissect our lives like it’s some type of science experiment. They invade our conversations to offer advice that we neither need nor asked for. They take our words and our thoughts, pass them off as their own, and are then treated like they have discovered some new, brilliant thing. They insult us, throw slurs at us, and then demand to be treated with respect. When we finally stand up for ourselves and demand to be treated better than mud stuck to the bottom of their shoes, we are told that we’re being “oversensitive” and the people berating us are treated like victims.
We deal with this day in and day out. I cannot count the numerous amount of times I’ve said this very thing. It is inevitable that we will eventually get angry and frustrated. We are sick and tired of attempting to justify our anger and humanity to you. The simple fact is, we shouldn’t have to. If you refuse to treat us with the smallest amount of respect and recognize that our lives are not your science experiment, tell me, why should we cater to you? Why should we care about your “feelings” if you refuse to respect ours?
Bolded for emphasis.
- Shakespeare: "Never play with the feelings of others because you may win the game but the risk is that you will surely lose the person for a lifetime.
- Napoleon: "The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.
- Einstein: "I am thankful to all those who said NO to me, because of them I did it myself"
- Mahatma Gandhi: "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong"
- Dr. Seuss: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
it is a mystery.
1. “I know how you feel.”
- No-one really knows how another person feels.
- It sound patronizing and lacking in empathy.
- It limits exploration of the client’s feelings, and understanding more fully how things appear to them.
2. “It will be all right.”
- How do you know that it will be all right? Your assumptions could be totally wrong.
- It sounds superficial and insincere, and is lacking in compassion and empathy.
- It sends the message that you don’t want to listen any longer – so the client is prevented from working through their pain.
3. “If I were you I would …”
- It isn’t about the counsellor; it is all about the client and what will work for them.
- It minimizes how complex and difficult this is … and sends the message that problem is fairly trivial.
- Counselling is NOT about giving advice. The aim is “to explore to better understand” and then helping the client to choose what they will do.
4. “You should have/ you shouldn’t have …”
- The counsellor should be non-judgmental and accepting. Yet this is both judgmental and super critical.
- It is subtly guilt-tripping the client for their choice – and they don’t have to please or explain themselves to you.
- It limits problem-solving and dis-empowers the client.
5. “Wow. That’s terrible!”
- A comment like this can keep the client stuck as they now feel bogged down by “how awful things are.
- It frames the client as a victim and takes away their power.
- It keeps the focus on the past, and helps the client escape from their current and their future responsibilities.
Handy list of empathy blockers, or, never say this to a sad person
This morning I heard a hilarious story about Friend A trying to cheer up Friend B by calculating the number of hours Friend B could rightfully claim to be upset. It reminded me that not everybody knows about empathy blockers, the emotional equivalent of logical fallacies. Here’s a handy list from Robin Grille’s Heart to Heart Parenting. While the full article is geared towards parents and child-rearing, this list is really useful for anybody: Downplaying Denial Reasoning The positive spin Cheering up Advising/giving options The expectation Put down Diagnosing/labeling Distracting/diverting Stealing the thunder It’s natural to respond to a friend who’s hurting with an empathy blocker: But it’s likely you won’t help your friend feel better. (Honestly if you go too far with some of these blockers, they’ll probably just want to punch you.) Instead, check out the rest of the article for tips on how to deal with painful—or even just annoying—situations.
Oh, don’t cry. I’m sure it’s not that bad! It’s not the end of the world.
There is nothing wrong; nothing for you to be upset about. Everything is OK.
Don’t cry. Can’t you see that the other child didn’t mean to hurt you?
Look on the bright side. Can’t you see, this probably happened for a good reason?
Don’t worry. Here, let me tell you something funny I heard the other day. Here, have an ice cream. That’ll cheer you up.
Why don’t you try doing this, or that? I think you should just ignore that so-and-so.
You should have known better. Get over it. Don’t let it get to you.
Don’t be silly. Don’t be ridiculous.
You are being over-sensitive.
Hey, have a look at the pretty puppet.
Now you know how I felt when the same thing happened to me.
Sometimes we use empathy blockers inadvertently because we are anxiously trying to save our children from emotional pain. Ironically, the greatest salve for our children comes from being heard, not from us trying to change how they feel. For all of these reasons, we all use empathy blockers from time to time, quite automatically and unconsciously. You could say we are all quite skilled at blocking.
This morning I heard a hilarious story about Friend A trying to cheer up Friend B by calculating the number of hours Friend B could rightfully claim to be upset. It reminded me that not everybody knows about empathy blockers, the emotional equivalent of logical fallacies. Here’s a handy list from Robin Grille’s Heart to Heart Parenting. While the full article is geared towards parents and child-rearing, this list is really useful for anybody:
The positive spin
Stealing the thunder
It’s natural to respond to a friend who’s hurting with an empathy blocker:
But it’s likely you won’t help your friend feel better. (Honestly if you go too far with some of these blockers, they’ll probably just want to punch you.) Instead, check out the rest of the article for tips on how to deal with painful—or even just annoying—situations.