Author Topic: Count your Blessings  (Read 10707 times)

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CakeEater

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2013, 01:11:37 AM »
I must admit that as a teacher, I used this kind of sentiment with kids occasionally when I thought they really needed some perspective on situations.

I've also said this to myself and to other people about my own situations. But I would never say this to someone else.

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2013, 02:03:09 AM »
But if your child came home from school and reported (for example) bullying behavior against her, you wouldn't just tell her to 'soldier on' or 'count your blessings' would you?  I'm pretty sure that you'd know that even though it's probably true that someone somewhere has it worse, you wouldn't invalidate her very real feelings of sadness and frustration that she's feeling right now.

I think the danger with telling kids to 'count their blessings' when there are small issues is that they will learn not to come to an adult for help when the issues are bigger.  I was bullied (briefly, for a few weeks) in school but I never told my parents because by then I'd learned that they'd say that it wasn't really bad and to just deal with it. 

citadelle

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2013, 09:47:47 AM »
But if your child came home from school and reported (for example) bullying behavior against her, you wouldn't just tell her to 'soldier on' or 'count your blessings' would you?  I'm pretty sure that you'd know that even though it's probably true that someone somewhere has it worse, you wouldn't invalidate her very real feelings of sadness and frustration that she's feeling right now.

I think the danger with telling kids to 'count their blessings' when there are small issues is that they will learn not to come to an adult for help when the issues are bigger.  I was bullied (briefly, for a few weeks) in school but I never told my parents because by then I'd learned that they'd say that it wasn't really bad and to just deal with it.

I am sorry that happened to you. When it comes to interpersonal situations, a different approach is needed. Perspective regarding advantages is more appropriate for when children are not valuing possessions or feeling entitled to more/better possessions.

DavidH

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2013, 03:57:08 PM »
In my experience, phrases like "count your blessings" and "at least you have your health" are not used compassionately or to make the person feel better, but are code for "your problems are insignificant", "you're just wining", or "stop complaining".  I think you can say to him, I found your comment dismissive of my feelings and hurtful, even though you may not have intended it that way.  He can either then apologize or not as he sees fit.  I personally would respond live, but that's just me.

I will confess that I have used the phrase if that's the worst thing you have to complain about you have things pretty good in the past, but not because I felt any compassion about the situation. 

MamaMootz

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2013, 06:16:14 PM »
Hi, OP here again. Sorry I haven't been on in a couple of days and all of a sudden - 5 page thread.

The person responding to my comment is my 2nd cousin. I haven't seen her in about 10 years. I posted the comment to vent. I don't think she got that it was a vent. The verbal smackdown was irritating.

I guess she was trying to put it in some sort of perspective for me, but I still find the entire thing irritating and yes, dismissive.  I'm not wallowing in self-pity - I am actively trying to fix the situation but it takes time and the situation is still frustrating. So I vented.

I'm going to let it go... I used some of the great advice I got here, she seems to not have understood it, and there is no point trying to change her. From now on I'll be sure I hide my feed from her if I ever feel the need to vent again.


« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 06:18:23 PM by MamaMootz »
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2013, 11:14:58 PM »
But if your child came home from school and reported (for example) bullying behavior against her, you wouldn't just tell her to 'soldier on' or 'count your blessings' would you?  I'm pretty sure that you'd know that even though it's probably true that someone somewhere has it worse, you wouldn't invalidate her very real feelings of sadness and frustration that she's feeling right now.

I think the danger with telling kids to 'count their blessings' when there are small issues is that they will learn not to come to an adult for help when the issues are bigger.  I was bullied (briefly, for a few weeks) in school but I never told my parents because by then I'd learned that they'd say that it wasn't really bad and to just deal with it.

I am sorry that happened to you. When it comes to interpersonal situations, a different approach is needed. Perspective regarding advantages is more appropriate for when children are not valuing possessions or feeling entitled to more/better possessions.

I might have used something along these lines when I was made aware of a wish list my eldest child made of a lot of expensive things he wanted for Christmas and the comment "what matters more, the money or me?"  He knows that since his father got laid off this past summer and had to take a lower paying job, our Christmas budget was not that steep.  Not that it ever really was big, as DH and I usually only get each other one or two presents, depending on the cost.

In that case I think a "be grateful for what you do have" was an apt lesson, and since then he has still come to me with problems so I don't think he took it to mean "don't complain, ever." I also have not heard a peep about getting an iPad or gaming system either.
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Yvaine

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #66 on: February 13, 2013, 11:19:02 PM »
But if your child came home from school and reported (for example) bullying behavior against her, you wouldn't just tell her to 'soldier on' or 'count your blessings' would you?  I'm pretty sure that you'd know that even though it's probably true that someone somewhere has it worse, you wouldn't invalidate her very real feelings of sadness and frustration that she's feeling right now.

I think the danger with telling kids to 'count their blessings' when there are small issues is that they will learn not to come to an adult for help when the issues are bigger.  I was bullied (briefly, for a few weeks) in school but I never told my parents because by then I'd learned that they'd say that it wasn't really bad and to just deal with it.

I am sorry that happened to you. When it comes to interpersonal situations, a different approach is needed. Perspective regarding advantages is more appropriate for when children are not valuing possessions or feeling entitled to more/better possessions.

I might have used something along these lines when I was made aware of a wish list my eldest child made of a lot of expensive things he wanted for Christmas and the comment "what matters more, the money or me?"  He knows that since his father got laid off this past summer and had to take a lower paying job, our Christmas budget was not that steep.  Not that it ever really was big, as DH and I usually only get each other one or two presents, depending on the cost.

In that case I think a "be grateful for what you do have" was an apt lesson, and since then he has still come to me with problems so I don't think he took it to mean "don't complain, ever." I also have not heard a peep about getting an iPad or gaming system either.

Yeah, when the issue is actually money, I can see the point in pointing out (to your minor child, obviously, not to random other adults like PPs have had to deal with) luxuries they already have. I think what bothers me is that the "You have xyz material thing" is sometimes thrown at kids as a response to emotional/social problems that money and iPhones won't fix.

Library Dragon

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #67 on: February 14, 2013, 01:19:33 AM »
OP the response by your cousin to your FB vent was rude. 

My husband is a Catholc Deacon (BG this means he's an ordained minister who hatches, matches, dispatches and everything in between). He does a lot of marital counseling where this attitude comes up.  His first response is that its not a competition and pain shouldn't be compared.  He then reminds them that we are called to love others as we love ourselves.  We cannot fully give ourselves if we are in pain. 

I take a more snarky approach with my library staff.  I tell them they are allowed to complain, they are not allowed to whine.  Sometimes we need to vent even if we cannot change things.

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Raintree

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #68 on: February 14, 2013, 06:26:33 AM »
I posted some random pet peeves on FB. It was supposed to be funny and most people took it that way. Someone posted something along the lines of, "You should cheer up and focus on the positive things in life instead of letting these things get to you." Made me wonder if I was exuding negativity, but since most commenters seemed to take it in the spirit it was intended, I think not.

It IS possible to share pet peeves in a humorous way and still be in a cheery, good mood!!

TurtleDove

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #69 on: February 14, 2013, 07:05:52 AM »
Raintree, I completely agree with you.  There are some people, however, who use FB to constantly vent, whine and complain (I am not saying the OP is one of them - I have no way of knowing!).  I still believe that posting an FB status is inviting commentary.  I don't personally comment on whiny or negative status updates (I tend to delete or hide them as friends) but I don't really grasp the idea that only "yes, you have a horrible situation!  wallow in it" comments are appropriate.  Like I said, I would not post the status or the comment, but I think once you post the status you can't really complain about the comment. If you want support from someone who will listen to your situation, get that in person, IMHO.  Posting a general vent as a status is not likely to result in 100% support of your perspective.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #70 on: February 14, 2013, 09:07:13 AM »
Raintree, I completely agree with you.  There are some people, however, who use FB to constantly vent, whine and complain (I am not saying the OP is one of them - I have no way of knowing!).  I still believe that posting an FB status is inviting commentary.  I don't personally comment on whiny or negative status updates (I tend to delete or hide them as friends) but I don't really grasp the idea that only "yes, you have a horrible situation!  wallow in it" comments are appropriate.  Like I said, I would not post the status or the comment, but I think once you post the status you can't really complain about the comment. If you want support from someone who will listen to your situation, get that in person, IMHO.  Posting a general vent as a status is not likely to result in 100% support of your perspective.

Is that what she wants? Or, does she just not want someone to dismiss her concerns?

Yvaine

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #71 on: February 14, 2013, 10:02:20 AM »
I don't personally comment on whiny or negative status updates (I tend to delete or hide them as friends) but I don't really grasp the idea that only "yes, you have a horrible situation!  wallow in it" comments are appropriate. 

I don't see how "That stinks, I'm so sorry," which is a kind and compassionate response to all sorts of things, equates to "Wallow! Wallow, I say!" People are allowed to be bummed for a while when things go wrong. It doesn't mean they hate their life or they're miserable on the whole, it's just a natural human reaction to unpleasant things happening.

And yes, of course there are people who only ever post negatively and that's annoying, but I don't see any indication that the OP is doing that and it doesn't seem kind to assume she is.

Midge

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2013, 10:20:16 AM »
I think my problem with what the OP's cousin posted is that it's the only thing she "said." If she had also written "I know how you feel," "That s**ks," "Sorry to hear that," or something along those lines, and THEN said "count your blessings," at least the OP wouldn't feel, rightly, "dismissed." Her upsettedness (hey, a new word!) would have been acknowledged.

Example: A good friend died earlier this week and it's affected me quite a bit. Now, am I feeling anywhere NEAR the grief his wife, kids, and parents are feeling? Heck no. But if I told someone that I lost a friend and was feeling down, I would hope the first and only words out of their mouth would NOT be: "At least it wasn't YOUR husband."

TurtleDove

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #73 on: February 14, 2013, 10:34:32 AM »
And yes, of course there are people who only ever post negatively and that's annoying, but I don't see any indication that the OP is doing that and it doesn't seem kind to assume she is.

Oh, agreed!  I should have been more clear - I was speaking in general in response to several posts that only certain responses are okay and not about the OP.  I didn't get the sense she is wallowing or generally whiny at all - I thought I said that upthread.  Sorry I wasn't clear!

Aeris

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Re: Count your Blessings
« Reply #74 on: February 14, 2013, 11:05:31 AM »
Raintree, I completely agree with you.  There are some people, however, who use FB to constantly vent, whine and complain (I am not saying the OP is one of them - I have no way of knowing!).  I still believe that posting an FB status is inviting commentary.  I don't personally comment on whiny or negative status updates (I tend to delete or hide them as friends) but I don't really grasp the idea that only "yes, you have a horrible situation!  wallow in it" comments are appropriate.  Like I said, I would not post the status or the comment, but I think once you post the status you can't really complain about the comment. If you want support from someone who will listen to your situation, get that in person, IMHO.  Posting a general vent as a status is not likely to result in 100% support of your perspective.

While posting a status on facebook is inviting commentary, that does not mean that absolutely any and all comments are appropriate, polite, or kind. It's no different than an in person conversation - not every verbal response is appropriate either.

I've posted before that I'm more similar to you in some ways on the sympathy/encouragement spectrum. I can sometimes hit a dark wall where I need the people closest to me to help me focus on positive things to break the emotional downward spiral. However, there's a wide spectrum of approaches between *that* and something that comes across as "suck it up, buttercup, other people have it worse".  Similarly, there's a spectrum between expressing basic sympathy and going so overboard on validation that you're encouraging someone to wallow.

One serious problem is that the 'focus on the positives' message is very delicate, and tone and delivery make all the difference between whether it's going to land correctly or dismissively.

Commenting on an emotional issue on your second cousin's wall, whom you haven't seen in years, is probably NOT an appropriate place to try it. The likelihood of it reading as dismissive is objectively very high, particularly with the clumsy 'count your blessings' phrasing.