When I Am Sad

1. I have a right to be sad. I will not rush a change in my emotions in order to make you more comfortable. I’m sorry that my sadness is causing you discomfort, but I have to take care of myself, and right now that means being sad.

2. I probably don’t want to talk about it. This is typical male behavior, and it can be problematic if habitual and/or obstinate. However, once in a while it’s okay. Perhaps I will write about my sadness, and perhaps I will let you read what I write. In the meantime, please don’t ask me probing questions.

3. Do not try to cheer me up. Don’t tell me silly jokes or tell me to look on any bright sides. The best cure for my sadness is probably just to let it run its course. (TPCQ: “You wanna be sad, Lisa, you go ahead and be sad.”)

4. Do NOT tell me to smile. This will only make me more sad and perhaps introduce unnecessary anger into the situation.

5. There’s a good chance I am also frustrated. This is probably the result of my inability to do something I feel I should be capable of doing — perhaps something I should be able to do easily. There is also a good chance that my sadness/frustration are the result of a combination of negative factors in my life. If I am then asked to verbalize my frustration, I will probably not be able to do this well, and I will feel even more frustrated.

6. If I avoid eye contact, it’s nothing personal. I probably want to be alone with my thoughts, and eye contact is a form of communication in which I do not wish to engage at the moment. Give me and my sad eyes some space and time.

7. There’s a good chance I am also tired. I devote most of my energy — physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional — to my students and my classroom. I am therefore often drained at the end of the school day, and sometimes on Saturdays too. Relaxing and/or playing video games and/or sleeping and/or being alone often help to significantly improve my mood.

8. Please don’t make me listen to your woes. I need time to cleanse my own sadness, and I am quite incapable of helping anyone else cleanse their sadness. Perhaps we can discuss your woes later.

9. What should you do? Ask me if there’s anything you can do to help, then leave me alone or let’s talk about something else. Chances are when you ask, I will say “No, but thanks for asking.” I mean this sincerely — I know you’re trying to help, and I appreciate your concern. But when I say no, I mean NO. And when I say “talk about something else”, I mean something that we might talk about if I were in better spirits — do not contrive some asinine conversation designed to cheer me up (see #3 above), because it will just frustrate or sadden me further.


JaySmooth from NilDoctrine discusses Chris Matthews’ racial amnesia. JaySmooth makes me happy.

Today I’m listening to: Tegan and Sara!

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