Geez, let the poor woman feel!

A while ago I had a post about how I feel bad to feel bad. And I honestly think that this is pervasive in our society, that we are instilled with the idea that bad feelings are bad and should be avoided as much as possible. Also, someone just wrote a comment on that post and said that when we’re feeling bad, we’re scared about how bad the bad feeling might get if we let it be. That IS scary!

But it becomes so extreme, trying to avoid or keep away from bad feelings. Today I spoke to a woman who went to work today – she works with elderly people like I do – and found out that they’d “lost” one of their “favourite” clients. But the other workers said they had to just move on and work pretty much as if nothing had happened.

How heartbreaking! The interesting thing is that this woman assumed that the way the other people are functioning is the better way. Because she said to me that since she has been working with elderly for a relatively short amount of time, she hasn’t gotten to a place where she’s capable of being “professional” about it.

Oh man, did I give it to her! In a good way. (She gave me a hug afterwards, thanking me for what I said.)

I said that why is feeling positive necessarily a good or better thing? And why is just quickly moving on considered more professional? All professionals are human beings so doesn’t it make sense that part of being professional is having human emotions?

I’d think it makes total sense to acknowledge the loss and feel sluggish, or whatever, for a day or a few days, however long the person needs.

I have seen many times in my job where there is an attempt to avoid negative feelings when it comes to the elderly clients. In other words, people don’t only expect happy-happy disposition from the workers, we also want to try to create that with the clients, try to avoid them experiencing negative emotions.

Is this a correct approach?


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