“Just” don’t

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Just. Just cheer up. Just get fit. Just deal with it. Just get it done. Just. Ugh. Help me understand why people feel this is a good problem solver. I understand, and definitely support, the notion of finding a positive amidst the tough times. A change in perspective is sometimes all you need to turn a situation around. I do think, however, that people often forget the importance of acknowledgment. I think sometimes, people need someone to simply acknowledge how hard a situation must be for them. This then lets that person know they are not crazy for being upset or struggling and can gather themselves to tackle and overcome it with a relieved mind.

When someone says “just” I feel it somehow belittles the problem. They offer forth a solution that, to them, is so simple and easy that, in turn, seems to poke at your inability to see it the same way. It’s like if you were attempting to walk a tightrope across a treacherous ravine with the winds whistling about your ears, your palms sweating, legs shaking and heart racing and some genius rocks up and says “just walk! you know how to walk, don’t you?” Whilst yes, tightrope walking does indeed require the same general one foot in front of the other technique as walking, the urge to tell that person to “go away”, in a less than polite manner, would be pretty strong for me.

There is, of course, another perspective to consider. When someone says “just…” perhaps their intention is to dissipate the stress, to help you dial-down the overwhelming feeling that the situation is out of your control. I mean I’d like to think that no one would go out of their way to belittle your problems for whatever reason. So perhaps we need to remind ourselves that even if it feels like that, they probably mean well.

So here’s an idea, a compromise if you will: if we see someone spiraling and getting overwhelmed with life, how about we do a bit of both. How about we take a moment to acknowledge their struggle and say “wow, I’m so sorry you’re going through that, must be really tough, is there anything I can do to help?” Then perhaps we can offer our “just” solutions, to help them handle it in bite-size pieces. Just an idea ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

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2 comments

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  1. Alec

    While I do agree. Sometimes all you can do is (no pun intended) just sit there evaluating yourself and telling other people of your situation is all you need to do just to get it out. You may not need them to fix it but just be there for them and listen. Because more often than not in my experiences at least, the power of a good listener outweighs all their stress and anxieties because the person feels heard and not so alone…

    Like

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