Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I'm not awesome... and that's okay

This quote irks me.  I don't watch "How I Met Your Mother", so I don't know the context of the quote, but I've seen it around the internet plenty of times.  It always rubbed me the wrong way, but I wasn't able to put my finger on why until recently.

To tell someone to "stop being sad, start being awesome" is a complete disregard for their feelings.  Whether the reason for their feelings is legitimate or not (that's a separate problem), the feelings they have at the moment are legitimate.  Who wouldn't love to command themselves to stop feeling sad?  Who among us hasn't tried something like this already?  If my emotions could be changed by someone simply saying "you shouldn't feel that way, feel a different way instead"... they would never need to say it.  I would have already done it.  

It's important to allow ourselves to feel sad.  Not wallow in it, not to gain pity, but as a time of reflection, or during a time of mourning, loss or struggle?  Allowing ourselves to feel sad and grow during those times is, I think, pretty awesome.


  1. Yes. Sadness is a part of life. And to not be sad at times when there should be sadness is to deny part of real life's experience.

  2. I've always disliked this quote because it seems to be talking about two different things. Getting/being sad, as in unhappy, is an emotion (vs. being sad as in being pitiful, which is...I don't know, a state of being? but not an emotion), whereas *being* awesome (again, state of being) is very very different from *feeling* awesome (emotion). Which I think is what you're saying.

  3. I have actually never seen this quote before and don't remember hearing it on the show, but I definitely agree with you about it. My brother went through a horrible divorce 7 years ago. At the time, I didn't realize why he was so sad after all his wife put him through. I recently apologized for not understanding the pain he was going through. No matter how horrible she was to him, she was still his wife and he loved her. The older I get, the more I understand that people want their feelings validated, not to be told to get over it.

  4. I've never seen this, either, but it rubs me the wrong way. I'd love to stop being a lot of things and just be awesome, but I'm human, I struggle and feel and process and work through a myriad of emotions on a sometimes hourly basis and that's life. To suggest that people should or can just be something other than a thinking, feeling being is denial.