“It could be worse.”
“At least it’s not ______.”
“I should just look for the bright side, right?”
It may sound strange, but there are many people who don’t feel like they are allowed to be in emotional pain. Something difficult may be happening to them but they don’t feel like they have a legitimate reason to be upset. This internal dismissal is often not a conscious one, and typically wears a guise of intellectual sophistication or “just trying to be positive”, but I find that when you peel the layers a little, there is a reservoir of pain that when acknowledged and given space, can heal.
The reasons to not be allowed to feel pain can vary. Sometimes people feel like they shouldn’t be upset because things can always be worse. While that is certainly true, it doesn’t change the fact that the current situation may be highly distressing. But there needs to be permission to be in pain. Once you give the pain permission to be there, the healing can start.
If you numb the negative, you numb the positive. You give space for the negative, you create space for the positive.