Toxic Gratitude

I bought one of those sauces from the supermarket the other week. Made a stir fry with loads of lovely veggies and then poured the sauce on top of everything to warm it up.

Oh, what I mistake I made.

The sauce was awful, the whole thing ruined.

“I really can’t eat that,” I thought. Almost immediately I quickly switched to “I know it doesn’t taste nice but we can’t waste it. There are people in the world that have very little to eat. We should be grateful we even have three meals a day. It’s disrespectful to throw it away.”

Toxic gratitude.

We invalidate our feelings and make ourselves wrong for even thinking them.

No matter what the situation: stir fry, covid-19 loneliness, difficult manager, presenting your work …try to allow the real emotions to come through, validate them and (if needed) process the emotions.

The alternative is emotional numbing and we can’t successfully selectively numb emotions. This results in a flat line of emotions. Therefore, to feel more: happiness, love, excitement and fulfilment we also need to open up ourselves to feeling: anger, sadness, fear and guilt.

We can be grateful and we can be angry – but not at the same time.

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