Women often have the weight of the world on their shoulders- putting everyone else’s needs ahead of their own. Many of these wonder women have turned to a professional therapist for support. Just what have they learned from their experiences in therapy?
Anger Is a Secondary Emotion, Not a Primary One
A feeling of anger is often a reaction to another emotion—disappointment, hurt, or crossed boundaries. It can often serve a purpose and is okay to feel. This one got much traction.
“I was taught not to be angry because I had to be rational and calmly talk it out. But there is also a rational way to be angry, and I have every right to be and to express that. My therapist taught me to locate that feeling and to express it instead of just repressing it,” is one example shared by GirlSailor14.
You Are Not Responsible for Other People’s Feelings/Emotions.
Often women play the blame game with themselves when dealing with another person’s feelings. The truth is, it doesn’t have anything to do with them. Member Pure-Topic-6393 learned this with her experience. “I do not make them do anything…. they choose their own actions.”
Crying Is a Good Thing
Sometimes there is nothing like a good cry—tears release stress hormones, which can be a good thing. Not always easy, though, especially for strong women. One user said, “I find it extremely hard to cry, though. I'd be devastated, wanting to cry, but the tears won't come.”
Maybe it takes playing a sad song on the radio while curling up with a sad book.
It’s Okay To Ask For Help
We get it, we’re women, and this might be one of the hardest for us. Reddit user hey_nonny_mooses shared, “I’ve literally fallen to the ground spasming in pain because I refused to ask for help. My husband found me and was so exasperated as to why I didn’t ask for help.”
A great way to ask for help is simply the act of therapy or calling that friend or loved one. Try it; you might even like it! You certainly deserve it!
You’re Still Awesome, Even in The Dark Times
“My therapist told me that after all the horrible stuff I went through as a child, I managed to survive, become a functional adult, be loved by many people, and have a quite cool life,” offered Four_beastlings about one of her revelations. With women putting so much pressure on themselves nowadays, losing some confidence is easy. A good therapist can offer a perspective we can’t see in ourselves.
“Self-confidence is so important. If you don’t love and respect yourself, no one will. Great job, and enjoy being you,” Lucycoopermom responded.
Great free advice!
Self-care Is Important
Not just a little important, but really important. HeadEmpty_NoThoughts shared, “It has a huge effect on your overall well-being and can often be at least a temporary solution for dealing with larger problems. You can’t take proper care of others if you aren’t taking proper care of yourself first.”
That’s why flight attendants tell us to put on our masks first before assisting others.
Saying “No” and Having Boundaries Doesn’t Make You a Bad Person
“Never feel guilty about creating and maintaining boundaries. They are not selfish acts, but rather necessary tools to a healthy mindset and balanced life,” described sarahliz511. Establishing boundaries has been huge for many (myself included) in navigating life’s challenges. And unfortunately, there are always people trying to test or cross those boundaries in your life.
Being Self-aware Isn't Always a Good Thing
Several respondents noted that therapy brought out their self-awareness. Usually a good aspect, but it also often means one is an overthinker. For example, user FloatDH2 says, “I love being aware enough to know my faults and challenge myself to be better, but with that comes ALOT of mental drainage.”
Indeed, overthinking can cause mental burnout, and a good therapist should help you be able to handle it.
You Can’t Fix Others
It may seem obvious to some, but women are known as nurturers. Their desire to help a loved one can blind them to this fact. Known-Cauliflower692 says, “It’s on them to do the work for themselves. You can’t do it for them.”
You can, however, encourage them to do that work and let them know you’ll be there for support.
Therapy Doesn’t Work for Everyone
Well, there are always a few of those. User Future_Pomegranate90 was even so bold as to comment, “The main thing I learned in therapy is that therapists really enjoy the sound of their own voice.” Ouch.
“It’s a very expensive way to sit and talk to a brick wall, or at least that’s how useful my therapist was. Know it works for some, but I don’t think I’ll try it again.”
Bonus: I’ll throw in my favorite one. Every loss — whether of friendship, job, relationship, or death — is a loss that deserves and should be grieved. Going through the five stages of grief is essential. Something my therapist has stressed often over the years.
The bottom line is that real women go to therapy, and they learn something. And hopefully, they come out better on the other side.
This article is inspired by this thread.
Produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.