|The dilemma of associating with severely depressed people...|
Posted by: LateForLunch ® |
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...much less leading them, may be found in the suspicion many depressed people have about cheerful people and smiling faces.
Depressed people may often regard the world with a different attitude than people who are not depressed. While some depressed mood is normal for everyone from time-to-time, when a depression goes on for a long time, a person may start to find it hard to relate to anyone who is smiling.
When one doesn't feel one has any reason to smile or feel optimistic, one may forget (or never known) anyone who smiled who was not either insensitive or so far above them in social stature that they can't conceive of them as friends or allies.
People who feel sad/depressed may look upon smiles with pain, anxiety and resentment (for whatever reason).
One difficulty for people who are not depressed in relating to those who are, is that normally people tend to smile for reasons of politeness, friendliness, welcome, sympathy - but all the depressed person sees is "someone who is not depressed like me" so they assume the happier person cannot or would prefer not to relate to or associate with them.
They feel suspicious of friendly smiles. Then the person who smiled feels offended because they don't understand why their attempt to be friendly or cordial is being met by suspicion or even hostility.
This is a challenge.
There are cultural traditions not taught in basic courses such as we are touching on here. avoiding feelings of resentment is difficult but necessary.
Depressed folks (like me most of the time) need to understand that not every smile is phony or threatening. Some smiles are sincere - the person doing it wants to be friendly if they can.
Non-depressed people need to forgive others for not resonating on a happy wavelength. Life for many is terribly difficult for a variety of reasons. Many times those depressions have real causes out of the person's immediate control - so they feel desperate. Desperate people are VERY focused on their problems. They aren't in the mood to be cheerful.
'Crats have it all over the Republicans in that regard. Most 'Crats look so unhappy most of the time anyone who is depressed will tend to relate to their mask of misery.
I have learned from years of experience dealing with sad, depressed, frustrated people - a well-placed, sincere smile at the outset of an encounter is invaluable .
But the cheerfulness thing may be put aside if the person doesn't resonate. I dial down the cheerfulness/smiling/joking when dealing with them and it seems to work to put people more at ease about my intentions.
Little do they know heh
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