You Don't Have to Stay Calm and Carry On
I follow other coaches all the time. When I have time, I’m responsive. I love supporting them. Many have great things to share. Sometimes, out of one's own ignorance and confusion, one writes about something harmful. I read one of these posts today.
If a coach tells you the following, I won’t healthily and responsively work with them. I’ll explain why:
“Be calm. Whatever is happening, just be calm. There’s no reason not to be calm.”
She wrote about controlling your feelings, so you stay quiet in the storms.
Ironically, even reading this phrase pisses me off. I don’t feel calm. I feel irritated.
Thank you, coach lady, for reminding women they need to be quiet, swallow it and be sugar and spice and everything nice. We all needed that reminder. (Insert sarcastic smirk).
Her post was longer than this; however, the gist was never a reason not to be calm. Whatever is happening can be figured out on every level.
THIS NARRATIVE IS FALSE AND A MYTH—my “calm” way of saying BULLSHIT.
There are many reasons not to always respond with calm:
You want to be Authentic. What if someone has hurt your feelings and you're angry? You have every right to stand up for yourself and be lovingly assertive. Please don’t fake a zen personality when you’re mad. Your relationship with yourself and others will feel more connected from this honesty.
You don’t want health problems. Suppose you are constantly forcing yourself to stay calm and swallowing your truth. That “negative” feeling you have will live somewhere else in your body. It will likely turn into an illness or an injury. You must feel your feelings.
You are NOT a doormat. My clients tend to accommodate everyone around them and put themselves to the side. They don’t need to be calm. They need to learn to say NO.
Anger is healthy. I’m not talking about yelling; I’m talking about healthy anger. Here are two examples: I love music. You can make different sounds from all kinds of instruments. When you think of a symphony, they thrive off the marriage of sound, just like humans do with their various emotions. We are not a one-note instrument. That would be boring. As humans, we have many multiple feelings that live within us, and they are all valid.
Food for thought: The Civil Rights Movement would not have happened if someone didn’t get angry. Being calm would not have helped.
We need to stop aligning Hysteria with history and the definition of women. As defined in Oxford Dictionary, Hysteria means exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement. The term has a controversial history, as it was formally regarded as a disease-specific to women throughout the 19th Century.
There is nothing wrong with you if you feel emotional. Life happens.
And life is full of ups and downs; heartbreak, death, pandemics, trauma, celebrations, etc. Calm may not be the appropriate response, and that is perfectly okay.
Ignore the people who tell you to be calm. They just showed you that they couldn’t handle their emotions and difficulties.
You don’t need to fake calm.
You need to learn how to feel your emotions in a healthy and responsive way no matter what life brings you.
Please do not listen to coaches like the one above. If you’re struggling with anger and finding inner peace, schedule a call today, and we can discuss an authentic and realistic approach to embracing emotions.