Telling others not to feel is abusive and an action that has no level of consciousness to it. It is not kind. It is not loving. There is nothing helpful in it. In fact, you’re really sentencing someone to a lifetime of misery.
One of the most healing things I have learned throughout my journey is that feeling is healing and healing is feeling. Notice that I didn’t say I should be re-framing what I’m feeling into a happy thought or what you might think is kindness.
We live in a world that is numb. Telling others not to feel is literally abusive and propagates this forward. We hurt others when we do, this even if in our mind we think it is helpful.
Often times, we do this because we don’t want to embrace the unpleasant. Our life is already one where we don’t feel, or if we attempt to, things are just too difficult. It is easier to force others to see things our way than to let them connect energetically with us and make us feel uncomfortable.
Ways That Telling Others Not To Feel Is Abusive
Here are 6 ways that telling others not to feel is abusive. While we may not think we do this, I’m pretty sure that far too many humans do. This plague is so abundant on humanity that we’ve lost the ability to see when it does show up. We’ve lost the ability to see when we are doing it to others. When we feel, it is then that we are alive. When we don’t feel, it is then that we are numb.
Wear Your Happy Thoughts
Happy thoughts can be a good thing. Positive thoughts can be helpful. However, when we brandish them as a sword to help others, they are harmful and abusive. It is like the minister that comes by the man in the proverbial hole and writes a prayer on a piece of paper and drops it down to the guy. It just isn’t going to help the guy in the hole very much.
Happy thoughts often minimize what someone is dealing with and it makes them feel cheap. Imagine if you’re bleeding to death and someone says, “be positive and think you aren’t bleeding to death.” Now while that may be possible, in the moment the person needs help, not fluffy words.
Telling others not to feel is abusive when we use fluffy words of positive and happy thoughts. The words are usually words only and authenticity is lacking. They are like select-a-number thoughts that you apply in this case or that scenario. The human part of consciousness has exited stage left.
Giving Unwanted Advice
This is one that happens at such a frequency. Social media has propagated its infectious spread so quickly. I weep when I see it on display whether it is directed against me or others that I know.
Telling others not to feel is abusive when we are giving unwanted advice. We may not see it and we may be so totally numb in our own lives that we have lost that ability. I hope people aren’t consciously giving unwanted advice because that makes this so much worse.
If you’re around me much at all you will hear me say or see me write that often people need someone to listen. They need someone to hear them. There is an epidemic failing in this world where no one is listening. As a result, more people are screaming in hopes of being heard.
Some of the most healing moments I’ve had in therapy were when another person listened to me. They didn’t try to tell me what to do. They didn’t give me unwanted advice. Instead, they just listened and tried to help me find the answers that were deep within my mind-body.
Far too often we think we have to solve the issue for someone else. We think we have to give them advice so they will find their way. Actually, most of us know what we need to do, we just have to discover it. The most helpful healing people I have ever met were the ones that helped me discover it.
Unwanted advice is like stabbing someone and claiming you are doing surgery to heal them.
Often we think we know what is best for another person, but we have not walked a mile in their shoes. We don’t know the whole experience or issue taking place in that moment. There is no way we would know the sum total of all they have been through even if our intentions are correct. So, why do we think we can give unwanted advice without knowing all of that?
It is usually better to help walk with them through the fire and let them find what they need in their own time and way. Maybe we can see something they don’t, but don’t take the healing experience away from them by trying to force unwanted advice on them. You might be shortchanging them so in the future they will be unprepared to handle the next step of growth and healing.
Please Don’t Talk About It
Telling others not to feel is abusive, especially when they say “please don’t talk about it.” In essence, they are saying, “I don’t want to hear about it.” No one will own up to this and they will claim their intentions are good. They will not see there is a connection, but there is.
I remember having a massage trade day in an organization one time and one of the beloved leaders of that group was nothing more than a bully to me. We were sharing and catching up on what had been going on in our lives.
When it got to be my turn to share, I started to say something and immediately he said, “We don’t want to hear about your problems and troubles.” I wasn’t even going to share that and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was extremely hurtful and no one said to the beloved group leader that he was out of line. They just let me suffer in silence.
When we don’t want others to talk about something, most likely it is because we haven’t healed that part in ourselves. Instead of doing the work to feel and heal our own lives, we sentence others to a life of suffering in silence. It is abusive. It is harmful. We are telling them not to feel what is important in their life and minimizing anything they are going through, which is not a human quality. It is not consciousness.
Just Move On
One of the ways that telling others not to feel is abusive is when I see people saying or acting like others should just move on in life. It is another instance where someone feels uncomfortable around another person struggling with a situation.
Often there is an unhealed connection, but rather than being conscious and aware, we inflict hurt and pain on others by just telling them to move on.
Maybe they are trying to move forward. The sharing of what they are feeling in that moment may be a part of it. However, when we tell them to move on, we are saying their feelings don’t matter. Their process doesn’t matter. We are telling them not to feel and numb themselves. No one will prove to us otherwise, but it doesn’t make our abusive actions any less harmful.
Saying “I’m healed” is one way of telling others not to feel. We hold this badge of the ego out as if we’ve conquered all the mountains and anyone that has not done this is just not up on our level.
We feel that they must be at our level in the way we see it, or they just have not arrived. The ego is pretty good and hiding our own consciousness from plain sight.
Healing is a journey and the further you go, the more you see. Healing is not about a one moment in time where all the difficult experiences of life are resolved. This is the journey of life. It is why we are walking on our path every day. Becoming more than we are in this moment is the endeavor, not the exclamation that we are healed.
When you tell others how completely you are healed, you are showing nothing but an inauthentic side of yourself that is numbing your awareness.
I remember once asking Dr. Canali the question, “When will I be healed? Now I no longer ask that question, instead asking “how much further can I go?” and “where will healing take me?” “What will I learn and discover that I cannot see in this moment?”
This is the healing part that helps authentically connect with others and empower them. Numbing by telling others how much we are healed is not empowering and not helpful. At the minimum, it is abusive and hurtful.
Don’t Let It Bother You
This way of telling others not to feel is abusive and it goes back to the days of my childhood. My dad was a monster and treated us horribly. Yet he would often tell us to not let it bother you. Yeah right!
When I was in high school and suffering from an ulcer because of my home life, everyone told me to not worry about things. While that was probably good advice, it is like telling someone who is drowning to just swim.
I remember when I asked how not to worry about things, they gave me platitudes and bible verses. No one said here is what I have done that works. No one said here are some concrete steps you can take.
The words “don’t let it bother you” and the advice that it entailed was nothing but harmful and abusive. It was inauthentic at best. Why we as humans do unconscious activities like this, I’ll probably never understand.
Interjecting Your Experiences
We all see life through our lenses and filters, but this one goes way beyond that. Telling others not to feel is abusive when you interject your experiences in life as if it is their experiences.
I had a friend that had a sleeping pill addiction for many years and would struggle to sleep at night. Many people came along and told him what to do and how to sleep. They would often start off by telling him that they had a sleepless night and here is what they did.
The thing is, that it was their experience. While it might have been helpful advice for them or for someone, they did not know the whole story. They didn’t know that there was much more behind the sleepless nights. It would be the same as if I went to NASA and started telling the rocket scientists how to launch a rocket because I’ve seen a rocket launch.
We interject our experiences as if they are the sum total of life because our awareness and level of consciousness is filtered through our life’s lens. In order to help others when sharing your own life experiences, you need to authentically keep in mind that just because there’s a connection, it doesn’t mean you have truth for them. You may, but you might not either.
Telling Others Not To Feel Is Abusive
One of these centuries, they’ll look back and try to figure out how we could not understand that feeling is much better than numbing.
One of the things that brought on conversion disorder for me is that I wasn’t feeling like I thought I was. You wouldn’t have convinced me easily at the time that I wasn’t feeling, but that was at the heart of it.
When I met Dr. Canali and we started working on the aspect of healing my mind and body, I had to learn how to feel. I’m not talking about being overwhelmed by what I was feeling, but learning to feel in the body. It was about learning how to feel something almost to the edge of overwhelm and then backing off from that point. The more I did this, the stronger I got. The stronger I got, the more I could feel.
Misunderstood In Our Society
In our society, few understand this to the body and cellular level, so we avoid it with happy thoughts, positive memes, and unconsciousness. We lack the awareness of what it means to feel is to heal and to heal is to feel.
It isn’t just the mind part of the mind body connection. It is the body part that matters so much. Until we can feel it in the body, the mind will be running the loop of the traumatic experiences on replay as if it is still happening.
When we propagate these things online or in person, we’re not helping anyone. We are hurting them. Telling others not to feel is abusive.
In fact, we should be helping others to feel everything. We should be helping them discover what it is in the mind AND the body that is happening. Anything less and we are shortchanging humanity. We are adding to the problem, not helping as much as we think we are.