Last night, I knocked over my coat rack as I was heading out the door to handle a problem. It had already been such a rough Monday that just this simple event almost led me to tears. Shortly after I received a text message from one of my classmates who told me that she just spilled a bunch of rice on the floor and almost started to cry. Right away, I made the connection that we were both having a rough Monday and could truly understand what the other one was feeling like. Talking about our situations, we were then able to laugh at the fact that we were almost brought to tears by something as simple as a coat rack or spilled rice. We both also experienced an immediate sense of calm because someone else went through a similar experience and knew exactly what having a bad day on that specific Monday felt like.
For the rest of that night as I was completing tasks for my graduate program, graduate assistant, and internship, I was reminded of my friend anytime that the stress got to me and I thought I was going to cry. I knew that if she could be strong enough to not let the rough -Monday- stress get to her, so could I. I also hoped that I had provided her with the same strength.
How many times have you been there for someone in your community, or vise versa?
I think members of a given community too often keep their bad experiences or rough days bottled up and to themselves, but why? Community members often experience similar emotions and situations, so talking about your bad day with another community member may prove to be beneficial to not only you, but the other individual as well.
How can you be there for a member of your community that might want to scream on a bad day?
- Listening to the other individual
- Linking the other individual’s experience to a similar one you may have gone through
- Giving the other person strength through your strength or tips on how you conquered one of your bad days
- Having a reasonable venting/screaming session, where you both let out your frustration with the day
Remember this: if someone is having a bad day you can help that individual by giving them helpful hints or a relate-able story that will help them to remember you or your strength and translate that into a strength of their own.