Let’s play. You leave a message for a friend. They don’t respond. A day goes by. You leave another. Still no response. You leave two more. But you don’t hear back. What do you tell yourself? Do you think , “What a jerk!” Or, “maybe she doesn’t like me anymore”? Do you think, “people always abandon me” or “maybe I’m too much of a burden”? What DO you tell yourself? Do you realize that there might be a different perspective other than the one you are entertaining?
Maybe the friend is ill, or away on vacation and ‘unplugged’. Maybe they are dealing with a family crisis or a personal struggle and need some alone time. What we tell ourselves affects how we feel and how we behave. If we think the friend is snubbing us, we will feel angry or hurt. We might choose to pull back or lash out. We might end up depressed. Learning to step back and look at our thoughts and entertain different possibilities is key to our emotional well being I work with a lot of people with depression. One of the skills we work on is looking at the interpretations that you make. Life events do no have meaning in and of themselves. We GIVE them meaning through our interpretations. Change the interpretation, change the response