Let me tell you something. It’s ok to be bitter and unhappy sometimes. Especially if you have a justifiable reason. I know it’s popularly portrayed that one must be cheerful 24/7 to be considered a functional member of society. I don’t know who came up with that malarkey but they need their head checked. To feel blue sometime is only natural, it means you are a human being and not a machine.
I remember once some years ago, I was having tea with a group of people in my neighborhood. Yes, some people still drink tea after dinner. Anyway, we were the new family in the neighborhood and had been invited to a get to know the neighbors get together. While everyone was chatting about an unrelated subject one of the women blurted out her friend lost her son earlier that evening. Being new and not knowing I was supposed to have ignored her comment I said. “Your friend has my sympathy.”
The hostess looked at me and frown. I was like. “What did I do?” No one was paying the woman any attention who was obviously upset about the child’s death. I went and sat beside her and listened to her story about how the boy had suffered through bouts of leukemia for years and had lost the battle this evening. I hugged her and asked her shouldn’t she be with her friend instead of here?
“Oh no,” she said speaking to me as if I was a child and didn’t understand how things like this worked. “His family is at the hospital. It’s improper to intrude on their time alone.”
“Your friend need you now. I think you could go to her. Her husband isn’t in any shape to comfort her right now. He’s grieving too. Sometime the greatest support is just being there. You don’t have to say anything or do anything but just be there. Let your presence lend her your strength.”
When the woman left to go to her friend the hostess sarcastically asked me was I finished interrupting her party with petulant activities?
I told her yes, I was finished because I’m leaving. I don’t want to be around people with no heart. When I returned home my husband teased me saying he knew I would soon be back because their plastered-on smiles and unnatural cheerfulness would drive me back home.
However, if you are around people who only want to be around you when you are up and cheerful then you are hanging around the wrong people. The excessive cheerfulness isn’t real. One day it will bring the person crashing to the ground. So surround yourself with people who don’t mind your gray days.
So instead of telling people how they ought to feel, try asking them how they feel? That’s what the old greeting of “How do you do?” means. It’s an invitation for the person to say how they feel. We don’t use it anymore but we need to.