'Don't feel that way.'

United States
March 17, 2008 11:58am CST
Nothing bothers me more than when someone says this to me. I am an emotional person. Things affect me more than most people. I am not good at hiding how I feel. So people pretty much know when I am upset. Sometimes I'll tell a friend why I am upset when they ask. Sometimes they don't understand why I am so bothered by little things. They say 'Don't be upset about that,' or 'You shouldn't feel that way.' It makes me so angry I want to scream. If I could control it, I Would. You think I like being upset about the little things? You think I do this on purpose? I go around looking for things to feel sad about? There is nothing I would like more than to be able to control my emotions, so I would not have to feel sad. I could just skip right over it and go to feeling happy again. Don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed, and I'm not even upset all that much. But when I am, I don't think I should have to justify my feelings. I shouldn't have to feel bad about feeling bad. What possesses people to say such things? Has anyone ever said anything like this to you? How do you respond?
8 people like this
16 responses
• United States
17 Mar 08
I think people say that trying to make you feel better. Maybe they are the reason your upset and trying to say that you have taken what they meant the wrong way. I think that most people are trying to make us feel better when they say these type of things not realizing that it is making you feel worse. Kind of like when someone says oh I know how you feel but have never been through the situation. Some times we just say the wrong thing and make it worse instead of better.
2 people like this
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
17 Mar 08
I agree with this comment. Sometimes people say stupid stuff when they just don't know what else to say...
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 08
I agree, they are often not trying to be insensitive, they just don't realize what they are doing. But knowing that doesn't help much.
@teison2 (5927)
• Norway
17 Mar 08
yes they have. I agree with you that people cannot tell others how they should feel. They mey say how they think or feel about something, but not tell me what to think or feel. I often get this if I am angry. My man says: "you should not be angry about this" or "that is nothing to be angry about" - stuff like that. That makes me even more angry. I am angry when I am angry - regardless of what he thinks is the right emotion to have in a situation. My response is to say that I own my feelings and it is not up to him to decide how I should or should not feel.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Mar 08
I get that a lot- whatever the situation is, if it wouldn't bother them, they think it shouldn't bother you either. But they forget that people are different, and what makes me angry or upset is different from what may make them angry or upset.
1 person likes this
@rockvixen (896)
• United States
17 Mar 08
I always get the "don't worry about it, just try to find something to make you feel better" yeah ok, so if I'm depressed or upset, then I should just forget it and try to be happy? It dosen't work that way. I know how you feel, it's like people don't want to know about how you feel or they just don't want to deal with it. But I have gotten the "don't feel that way". I can't stand that either. I'm also very emotional so I just feel like letting things out, but it always seems that others just don't want to know about it. It irks the hell out of me.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Mar 08
That's pretty much the same thing. They're basically saying that your feelings are not important and you don't have a right to have them. Not only they don't want to deal with it, but they think you are wasting your time for even having the feelings.
2 people like this
@mbs730 (2155)
• Canada
18 Mar 08
OH I SO know what you are saying!!! You are human with REAL emotions!! People have no right to tell you how to feel or what to feel. We have a right to be upset, angry, sad, happy, whatever. I can relate because something has been happening in my life lately that has been upsetting me and others have told me "to not be so upset about it" OH its annoying. You have my sympathy and empathy.
• United States
18 Mar 08
You be upset if that is what comes naturally, and you will work things out in your own time to feel better. I need to learn to tell people to back off. They're my feelings and they are real, so don't tell me they are not.
@mbs730 (2155)
• Canada
18 Mar 08
yes I know, we are going to feel the way we are meant to feel, I am in complete agreement with you!
@MsEddie86 (236)
• United States
17 Mar 08
i understand how you feel about that, small things irritate me, but i dont think you should feel bad about feeling bad about things at all things itch you in the wrong way everyone has their own opinion on things so why should they tellyou to let things that bother yougo. when small things bother me i jus let them go away on there own and when my friends say why is somethin this small bothering you i explain my reasoning if i feel like it and go about my business not giving them a chance to respond because they are my feelings no one elses and i have the right to feel the way i do. what are some examples of things that bother you if you dont mind me asking?
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 08
It could be anything from an argument or a problem with my family, or an upsetting news story about a child being abused, or worrying about money. Anything from very personal and real, to things that really don't affect my life. I don't get depressed or anything, but I have anywhere from a moment to an afternoon of feeling sad or angry, or even just a little uneasy. So if I talk to a friend about 'I just came from my parents' house, and it upsets me so much that _________ happened.' The friend will say 'Oh, don't let that bother you.' That's easy to say, when you are not in the situation. But I can't just not let it bother me. You are right, we have the right to our emotions, and no one should ever make us feel that we don't.
@vera5d (3958)
• United States
17 Mar 08
This is a response a lot of people have naturally. Very few people except those who are therapists and those who have gone through extensive therapy can avoid those types of statements and say something more affirmative like "I see why you might feel that way". I used to get mad at stuff like that too, but after years and years of customer service experience and dealing with other people I've learned to not take anything anyone says personally, even if it is personal. I usually tell people when I do get mad that I'll get over it. I usually do. I agree with you, you shouldn't be ashamed of your emotions. It is much healthier to face them and deal with them.
• United States
18 Mar 08
I know, there are so few people who can be supportive and affirmative. Good listening is a rare skill, I've found. I'm glad you were able to train yourself not to be bothered by such ignorant comments. I can't do that. Sometimes, if my mood is right, I can blow things off, especially if it is a stranger (I don't talk to strangers about my problems anyway. If they ask, I assume it is just to be polite, and I just say I'm fine.) But if it is personal, I take it that way. I'm not good at ignoring it.
@shamsta19 (3232)
• United States
17 Mar 08
I HATE that too. Get that a lot from my girl. She actually tries to make me out to be a bad person because of my compassion for people. We argue because I am being myself and she is so hateful sometimes. These people cannot overstand us at all. They believe their way of thinking is correct and we are some type of retards or something. There is nothing wrong with the way you fell and don't ever let anyone tell you different. That is something I've dealt with my whole life.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 08
It's good to see I am not alone. Thanks for the boost.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
18 Mar 08
When people tell me that, I smile very sweetly at them and say "OK. YOU feel that way and I'll just watch you go through hell for awhile." The same person never says it to me twice. So Sillychick - how you feeling? I hope not 'that way'. LOL
• United States
18 Mar 08
Well, on reading your response, I have to say, I feel pretty good! That is a great comeback. I have never been able to come up with anything to say to people. I'll give it a try.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
18 Mar 08
Don't forget to smile through your teeth when you say it, or you may get popped in the nose. I learned the hard way! LOL
• United States
19 Mar 08
Thanks for the benefit of your experience! Too bad you had to learn the hard way. But those lessons are the ones that stick with us forever!
• Australia
18 Mar 08
Nobody should ever dismiss the feelings of another person as insignificant or wrong. I remember as a teenager, my mother did it to me all the time. Once I came home from school in tears because my 'supposed' best friend had blabbed all over the school that I had kissed one of the boys... a fact I had told her in confidence. You want to know what mums response was? (insert nasal twang here)'You think you have problems, just wait till you're my age and have to worry about things like where the next meal is coming from!' I remember risking mums temper by rolling my eyes and walking away... the reaction infuriated me...sure, the problem may seem petty to her... but she was a teenager once too, so she SHOULD understand how devastating those things can be. I laugh about it now.. hence the comment about the nasal twang LOL. But at the time it was really aggravating... consequently it is NOT a mistake I would make with my teenagers.
• United States
18 Mar 08
It's amazing how parents seem to forget what it was like to be a teenager. It is tough. I can see thinking that, but saying it was hurtful. I got things like that. I hate when people do that. 'Oh, you think that's bad? Wait till you hear what happened to me!' I'm not into having a competition about who has bigger problems. I just want you to acknowledge that my problem is real, too.
• Australia
18 Mar 08
Exactly. By her reaction, mum was saying to me that my feelings didn't matter, or that I was silly for feeling them because they weren't 'real' problems... thus denying me the right to feel them exactly as you said in the original post. Some people do that with good intentions, trying to snap us out of it, when all they really need to do is acknowledge our feelings. The feelings or problems of another person may seem silly or unnecessary... but that doesn't change them or alter their right to feel the way they do.
@RobinJ (2501)
• Canada
18 Mar 08
You your self said you are very emotional, have you ever tried to figure out why? I know for my self I take things to heart rather than to my head, If you take things to your heart you will only react emotionally, because it affects your feelings. But if you are able to take things to your head than you are taking in information and are able to act on that information. I will give you an example, if some one were to say to you I do not like that dress on you, if you are emotional you instantly start thinking what have I done wrong what is wrong with this dress,Now what am I supposed to do and on and on until you are in tears OR you can take that to you head and think Its my dress and we do not all have the same tastes, end of subject. So yes you can control your emotions by acting not reacting.As well as not taking thing as a personal attack. I honestly believe that is what your friends are trying to tell you is that you take every thing personally when it is not meant as a criticism but rather information you can choose to think about or not.
• United States
18 Mar 08
Emotional doesn't mean I cry at the drop of a hat. It means I show my emotions whereas a person who is not emotional appears to have no emotional reaction to any situation. At least that is how I define it. And yes, I do have more emotional reactions to many situations than a lot of people I know. In your example, my reaction would vary depending on who said it, the tone they used, and my particular mood at that time. I have a sister who is very blunt. She says what is on her mind, and not what she thinks people want to hear. I she made that remark, I would appreciate it as constructive feedback, and would not be upset by it. If someone said that to me in a demeaning tone, I would be offended. The specific situations when people tell me 'don't feel that way' are not like that. For example, I may be upset about something that happened during a visit to my parents, maybe some upsetting news about a relative. I have had people tell me not to feel bad about things like that. In my opinion it is a rude, disrespectful thing to tell me not to feel that way. Am I not entitled to feel the way I feel? It is easy to tell someone else not to be upset when you are not the one going through the hard time. And even if I was taking things more personally than I should, does that mean people have a right to tell me not to feel that way? They are my feelings and I am entitled to them, and I resent anyone telling me I am wrong to react in the way that is natural for me to react. I certainly don't choose to feel bad. It is just what happens in certain situations. Maybe I think that people who Don't get upset about certain things are the ones who are wrong. Maybe those people Should feel something. Who's to say which one is right and which is wrong? There is no one right reaction to any given situation. Everyone has their own way of dealing with things.
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
18 Mar 08
I know how you feel. I am one of those people too. Sometimes I get so embarrassed for feeling the way I feel over things. I try to ignore it but it shows and if I do say anything someone may think its silly. I do suffer from depression so that may be part of it. One thing that has helped me is some self hypnosis tapes. I didn't notice anything at first but after using it awhile it seems to make me less concerned with what other people think.
• United States
18 Mar 08
I am working on being less concerned with what other people think. In all areas of my life, not just about my emotions.
@subha12 (18472)
• India
18 Mar 08
i think no. no body ever told me so. i am also emotional. but i do not bring my emotion out for others to see.May be i feel bad inside. the hurt is deep inside as i guess.
• United States
18 Mar 08
I can't do that. I can't hide how I feel. I show everything I am feeling on my face, whether I want to or not.
• Malaysia
18 Mar 08
Hey Sillychick. Lots of people just plain obvious doesnt know how to deal with their emotions. Refusing to feel their emotions, yet talk about them. Much as often they let emotions just go away. I m like you. Even my star signs said so - emotional, easily hurt but recovers easily. I am a daydreamer and opinionated.
• United States
18 Mar 08
That describes me pretty well. I'm not upset or sad all the time. But I'm always emotional- most of the time those emotions are positive.
@chiyosan (29394)
• Philippines
18 Mar 08
darkness - finding yourself
well i don't blame you for feeling that way cause some people just dont understand - or maybe they don't want to understand... we all feel and react differently to a situation and it helps if someone will be around when things go bad. i hope you dont feel bad about the people who cares for you enough to utter their words of concern. however and whatever they say, they only want to make you feel better too.
• United States
18 Mar 08
I don't feel bad about people trying to help. It just upsets me that people sometimes don't take my feelings seriously. When I feel sad or angry, whether they understand or not, I shouldn't have to justify why I feel that way. I just do. That should be enough. I'm not asking anyone to do anything for me or to make it better, just that they don't make me feel bad or stupid for having feelings.
@gxnfly (1148)
• China
18 Mar 08
I was a emotional girl,but not now.I think being emotional is good,itshows you have feelings about things aroud you.You have passion and sense,you are happy when something goes right,you feel sad shed tears when something go wrong.I like it that way,I think girls like you are clever and lovely.If a girl couldn't be sensible,then all the guys should date with wood. You just be yourself,I think it's good.Tell you what,I feel that I don't have feelings anymore,I don't even cry anymore,while I used to cry when I was not good.I don't like the stituation I am going now.So just be happy about yourself,not everyone can be emotinal,some people don't even have feelings nowadays.
• United States
18 Mar 08
Thanks. I know some people who appear to have no emotions, and I just don't understand it at all.
@Hatley (130227)
• Garden Grove, California
18 Mar 08
first I think like you when I feel sad, or depressed I should not have to justify how I feel to anyone. What irks me so much is someone who will walk up to me and say you know you would be pretty if you weren't so overweight. Shouldn't you do something about it?" Now I know I am overweight I do not need stranger to tell me that, and also do not need lessonsfrom a stranger on how to lose weight. Then there are the friends who because they know you have diabetes think they know just what you can and cannot eat. they will say oh you cannot eat that and I will say just watch me. then but you are a diabetic and thats a dessert. I will answer I do not need diet police to tell me what I c an or cannot eat. I weigh and measure and count calories for everything and yes I am going to eat this.
• United States
18 Mar 08
You need to come up with a good comeback to use the next time that happens. Be ready with it, so the next time someone tells you you'd be pretty if you lost weight, say to them something like 'Yes thanks. Too bad there's nothing you can do to fix being an a$$hole!' That will catch them by surprise, and hopefully make them think twice about making such comments again in the future.