Grief is not a sign of weakness
Posted on 24th August 2021 at 10:23
In the 1990s, a book was released called 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus', which explored the differences of behaviour in men and women.
From our work, it seems the same is apparent when men and women grieve. Men seem to hold onto or hide their emotions, whereas women are more open in expressing their feelings.
We’ve noticed men often don't get as much support from friends, family, and society in general.
They’re not expected to grieve as much as women. Men get mixed messages about how they are expected to handle grief and are often unsure whether they can express their emotions.
"As a society, we’re uncomfortable when confronted by displays of painful emotion. This all perpetuates a fear of showing the normal feelings that result from emotional loss."
From a young age, we hear a bunch of misinformation, such as 'man up,' 'be strong,' and 'crying is for wimps' which all add up to the message that showing your emotions is wrong and your feelings should be hidden.
“We had been so conditioned to convert our emotions into intellect that we thought we were defective for having feelings at all.”
Grief Is the Normal and Natural Reaction to Meaningful Loss
Often mourning an event, or showing sadness, can be seen as a weakness. We’d like to put this misinformation straight.
Grief is a completely healthy reaction to have to any loss. Grief and our reactions to it are all unique depending on the person and the relationship.
"When grief is incorrectly defined, a griever is unwittingly discouraged from following the normal sequence of emotions and actions that could lead to recovery."
Holding onto feelings consumes much more energy than communicating them. It’s exhausting to drag emotional baggage along everywhere you go. While talking about how you feel is good, it doesn’t complete your relationship to the emotions related to loss.
It’s never too soon to heal your broken heart and discover the actions to recover from emotional pain.
"Over time, we develop the habit of putting a cork in our own personal steam kettles. We bottle up our feelings because we have been taught to do so. The actions of grief recovery will help you remove the cork. You will then be able to deal more effectively with the emotions associated with loss.
In order to remove the cork, we will look at all of the ideas that created it and replace them with more accurate ideas about dealing with sad, painful, and negative emotions."
All the quotes featured in this blog post are from The Grief Recovery Handbook (20th Anniversary Expanded Edition) The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith by John W. James and Russell Friedman.
The Grief Recovery Handbook is a best selling guide that sets out how you can help yourself following any major life event that invokes grief. Alternatively, you can use our directory to get in touch with one of our Certified Grief Recovery Specialists.
If you would like to share your own experience, or have any questions about what you have read, please leave a comment below or get in touch with us here.
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