You might want to read this first to get the context of the words below.
I saw a meme on Facebook which was about how to respond to a sad person. I went though the series of images which explained that you should respond with care, hug and comfort. And I couldn’t help comparing how my friends, SVD in particular responded to my recent bouts of depressive rant on Facebook group messenger, the place where this whole break up played out and ended.
These sort of memes are double edged sword.
- They set such high standard of care for your friends that they cannot achieve
- They validate your expectations from friends, so you keep feeling those who can’t achieve this are idiots.
My friends didn’t do 1% of what’s instructed in the meme. Whenever I was sad they gave me lecture on how my issues are my problem, nobody gives a rat’s ass, everybody has their own issues, I should try to find happiness within my soul and not sulk, I should just shrug off the sadness, get up and get going. I kept asking for it, but never got a hug. Ultimately, I ended my relation with them. Now I am alone, but I have no expectation, thus no disappointment.
Listening to a sad person’s rant is an art.
- Do not give them advise on how to fix things at the moment they are sad. First let them cry, just hug them, hold their hand and let them cry.
- When the crying phases is over, then ask them, what they want to do. Do they want to cry some more? Continue crying all life? tDo they want revenge? Do they want to move on. Do they want to change something? Accordingly give your advise.
- Don’t throw harsh bitter realities at their vulnerable state of mind. Even when you feel the other person is just boring you with their rant and they should really be rather getting their act together and do something about their lives, still, don’t say these rudely. Give them time.
Somebody on Facebook shared an article, ‘How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization.’ It was about how in the TV serial F.R.I.E.N.D.S they always made fun of Ross Gellar who was the most intellectual among them with a Phd and a academic job. They simply reduced him to a silly nerd and gave the impression that it is uncool to be a nerd.
Once again I read the article and compared the situation with my friends.
In recent times I felt I was being bullied for being an intellectual like Ross. In the end of this article one of the suggestions given to keep your sanity in a dumb world is to read a book. I remember I gifted a Roland Barthes book to a friend and it was called an ‘aantel’ (Bengali derogatory term for intellectual) book. It was said in humor but I was so heart broken.