The holiday season is kicking off — and that’s no small thing. If the holidays aren’t all good cheer and bright lights for you, you’re not alone. And if there’s someone in your life who has a hard time on the holidays, it’s a good time to check in and make sure they’re not alone, either.
Over at Geek & Sundry, you can find Dr. B’s thoughts on some of the major challenges of the holiday season.
Those of you who have read my previous articles probably figured out by now that I have a special loathing of when people dictate to others what they should be feeling or thinking. Telling someone they should be happy during a special occasion is no exception. The words “should,” “must,” “supposed to,” or any other variants of that theme can essentially act as a way of imposing one’s own beliefs over reality.
One particularly influential and highly irreverent psychologist named Albert Ellis nicknamed this “musterbation.” It’s often done with the best of intentions, like when a person is trying to cheer someone up. Think about it, though. If a person is already confused about what to feel or perceiving themselves as “broken” or not belonging, pointing out how they shouldn’t be feeling the way they are isn’t likely to decrease their unpleasant experiences. It frequently acts as a way of confirming their negative beliefs about themselves.
Read on over at Geek & Sundry. We hope your holidays are great, but even in the festive season, it’s OK to not be OK.