When she finally did acknowledge my presence, naturally I asked her, “What the hell?”
Well it turned out that she was having a horrible day. The reason she didn’t hear me was because she was so focused on how crappy her day was going and how badly she needed to ‘take a walk’ away from her desk.
This was not the time to tell her at least she has her health and certainly not the time to tell her to turn her frown upside down.
So I gave her what she clearly needed. A few insightful, but mean comments told sarcastically, but in support of her frustration over her situation. Validating what she was feeling, not suppressing it.
And when we got to the topic of her mother, who died in the past year, I told her that it doesn’t get any easier. Ever. You just learn to manage that pain better over time. That’s the best you can hope for when you lose someone that important.
By the time we parted, she was laughing through the tears. I’m not saying this to brag, but instead to say.
Sometimes the true path to positive thinking is simply accepting the negative and knowing that you’ll survive it.
This type of thinking isn’t generally supported, but it works. I’ve used it in my own situations and used it with friends and co-workers for years and it works.
To really get past something, we have to feel what we need to feel for as long as we need to feel it.
Then, when the better times swing back in our direction, we can truly enjoy them without the burden of unprocessed emotions.