How to Handle Judgment on Your Grieving Process

by dena on April 28, 2014

Gently handled flowerHave you been told to “get over it” when you were depressed or grieving? Some believe that “tough love” is necessary to coax someone out of their grief without realizing that doing so may cause the opposite reaction.

People generally intend to be supportive of those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Their comments are not meant to hurt. If they have not been in that same boat or if they have a different style of approaching life’s challenges, they may not realize the effects certain remarks can have. How many of us may have cringed on recalling what we said years ago, as we now have a different perspective?

If you are feeling pressured by loved ones to “move on” from your grief, here are a few things you can do to handle judgment:

  • Understand that everyone handles grief differently, including yourself. While one person may seem to grieve for a short time, you may need many months or years. This is perfectly normal! Take as much time as you need during your grieving process and you’ll feel better in the long run.
  • Don’t rush yourself. The fact is your grieving process will happen on its own; it’s not something you can rush or put on a schedule. If you try to rush it you could wind up with lingering emotions that may haunt you in the future.
  • You don’t need to explain yourself. You may feel obligated to explain to your friends and family why you’re not over it and why you need more time, and this can actually cause you more stress. Take it easy, the additional stress is not needed and trying to defend your actions might drain your energy further. You’ve got enough on your plate already.
  • Pay attention to your feelings. While you may feel pressured by others to push your feelings aside and ignore them, it is important that you don’t. Let yourself feel however you feel. Trying to jump immediately back into your everyday routine without allowing some space for your grieving can make it more difficult in the long run.
  • Ask for assistance. You might suggest to those closest to you a few ways they CAN be supportive of you. Often, people want to be helpful to you, and they can be confused about how best to do so.

In the end, if someone is pressuring you to “get over it” you can simply tell them, “No.” The best way to handle the judgment of others is to thank them for their concern, and calmly say you will handle your grieving on your own terms and you will “move on” when you are emotionally and physically ready to do so. Your loved ones will understand.

What advice do you have for someone who may be feeling pressured or judged by others to “get over it”? Let us know in the comments, or join the discussion on Facebook!

You might feel supported by a resource of a guest post I wrote on Courtney Carver’s blog. “Simplicity in Action: Dena – Be More with Less” is a story about embracing simplicity in the midst of my intense grief and it also offers ideas on how to create a retreat time for yourself at home.

Blissings, Dena

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