Friday, March 13, 2015

Are you really helping?

" The researchers, from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, ran a bunch of experiments involving how to best support people with different levels of self-esteem. They found that so-called "positive reframing", which, as the name suggests, is an attempt to put negative events in their "proper" perspective, not only doesn't resonate with people with low self-esteem, but can actually fully backfire and make the "comforter" feel worse about themselves because their comforting is not working, potentially damaging their relationship with the person they're trying to comfort.
"Source :

This got me thinking. Like real deep thinking…which went on for weeks…almost months.
What was I thinking? Or Did I even think? Yes – loads. Day and Night – non-stop!

Despite believing my understanding -  I ended up using the typical – “positive reframing” way to deal with the situation.  I guess we all do that. That’s the default way of dealing with a situation. We try to show the positive side of everything to someone in distress. It may or may not work. I am not saying it’s the wrong way of dealing. But we need to understand the situation before we bombard someone in distress – may be depression and anxiety or just low mood - with “Get over it”, “It’s not that bad” kind of reactions. There's a plethora of encouraging phrases most people turn to when trying to cheer up a friend or loved one.

I am guilty too.

I understood it the hard way. I had to introspect. I had to research. I had to read – loads. I had to experience it myself.  Then only I could understand the difference and impact of “positive reframing” and "Negative validation". I am still struggling with differentiating between varied reactions that pop into my mind in real life situations. I still struggle with deciding on what’s right and what not. And more often than not I end up saying something which is not very welcome at that moment. But I am learning.

"Negative validation" — that is, "support behaviors that communicate that the feelings, actions, or responses of the recipient are normal and appropriate to the situation" — did resonate with people with low self-esteem."

"Negative validation" - is the way to be when you know your partner/friend needs more than just a ray of light to get her going . In such cases, the impact the “positive reframing” leaves is way worse and pushes away the person or leads to an invisible wall in between. Saying a “Cheer-up” turns out to be most negative thing to say at certain times. It might encompass the deepest and most genuine concerns you might have yet it backfires. You would most probably be left shattered and in tears at such times. But give it a moment and try to understand where it was coming from. It may sound a little counter-intuitive that some people would prefer not to be cheered up, but it really does make sense. Every negative event in their life seems to them as a reflection of their self worth. Hence any effort of telling them its not that bad may actually seem like a criticism of their own perceptions or feelings.

If you are the one in dip - this doesn't mean the friends or family trying to cheer you up are bad friends or partners, or that they lack empathy. In their favor - It can be exhausting dealing with someone who “appears” to simply refuse to feel better. In no way does that show people don’t care about each other. In no way does that reflect that the person doesn't understand your situation. Do not shoo them away for not being understanding enough.

How often have you been tempted to just say – Get over it. It will get better tomorrow! It’s a natural reaction when you see your loved one worrying about a past event or dreading a future one. On other side – its also natural that people are more inclined to think more negative and poorly about themselves in any given situation. And even more so - if they are going through a bad phase.

So when a loved one is having a rough phase (not in case its just a day once in a while), avoid telling him/her that things aren't so bad. The truth is if they feel its bad, its bad for them in some way. So what is appropriate is to just affirm that he/she has the reason to feel the way he  feels. On the contrary, if you’re the one who’d rather not get any preaching, try to gently explain to your loved ones that what you really need is some sympathy and confirmation through a rough patch, rather than well-intentioned attempts to counteract it.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Some words are so empty
they don't mean a thing
and the pain is so deep
it no longer makes you cringe
The silence kills slowly
and promises fade away too
the sky turns grey
and nothing seems to stay
All thoughts flash by in mind
and moments play over again
Every word rings in ear
and shatters everything dear
Time will keep testing
and hurdles popping up too
Yet nothing seems worth a tear
'coz i know you are near
In times like these and more
when silence is the only truth
I will let me be myself
and resign to love we share

© 2015 Life Begins. Please DO NOT COPY

Friday, March 6, 2015


For few weeks now all the posts and books I am reading triggered a chain of thoughts in me. After reading, for hours I am lost in thoughts - in comparing, in analyzing, in contemplating, in assuming, in anticipating and what not. The topics have been totally unrelated. Yet I somehow find them all connected. I feel that the universe is conspiring to give me some message. Perhaps to shake me up to see things in reality, in perspective. How we deal with emotions. How we react to situations. How we pretend to offer ourselves completely yet secretly keep a part hidden somewhere deep inside. How we take things for granted. How we get possessive about everything. How we show ownership. How we conveniently forget what we don't want to see. How we sympathize. And how we empathize.
How we let ourselves to get tormented and be in pain. How we chain and imprison ourselves. How we believe we cannot forget anything. How we choose to understand others better than understanding ourselves. How easily we loose balance of mind and life.

And All this is merely a tiny part in the grand scheme of things.

We give in. We forget that forgetting also takes time. It can take years to get over something or someone. But I think it does get easier. No one said Life is going to be easy, but the more you understand yourself, the easier it will get. And then very soon, you'll look back, laugh, and wonder: "What was I thinking?!"

I believe this is exactly what the universe is sending me signals about.

Can we defeat anything to gain back the balance? Can we find our way out of self inflicted torment and prison? I Believe - Yes. It just needs time, patience and real determination to let it go - which is the toughest task but not impossible. Allowing time to pass. Don't most things loose flavor with time! So do relationships and so do memories.

Ann Lander said - “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it."

People and situations are going to affect you in ways you could never imagine are even possible. No matter how right or wrong they are, holding on too tight to anything will only finish you gradually. LET - GO!

As someone said - Sometimes you have to Let go and be free!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Night after night
I think about you
Without a blink
Just a blank stare
Making sense
And loosing faith
Loving one moment
and dreading another
and broke
Stepping away this moment
and holding tight next
Heart reminds
of promises made
Mind plays games
of heartbreak and sorrows
With dozing eyes
and weeping heart
Lost in time
Yet holding that thread
Searching for meaning
And Not letting loose
Shall I keep promises
Or shall I let it go?

© 2015 Life Begins. Please DO NOT COPY

Monday, March 2, 2015


Just a simple yet  powerful thought I came across while reading "Five People You meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom.

"Worrying won't stop the bad things from happening, it just stops you from enjoying the good."

"In Order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it."