Tags: Donald Trump | Health Topics | disappointed | family | therapist | traumas

In Dealing With the Negative Accentuate the Positive

eliminating the negative

(Olga Vorobeva/Dreamstime.com)

By Thursday, 31 December 2020 10:40 AM Current | Bio | Archive

I make sure my radio show stays focused on morals, values, principles, and ethics.

But a recent call was interesting because it revealed how "arguing about politics" can stray into more universal and important issues.

I allow minor children to call in as long as they have an adult family member with them.

I usually don’t permit the adult to say anything as this is an opportunity for the child (albeit in front of the parent) to speak his or her mind. I only engage the parent if I believe there is something they need to understand or do. A father called in with his 13-year-old son.

The boy was measured in his delivery, quite delightful, and earnest.

He began by complimenting President Trump and then listed all the bad things he thought were perpetrated on Trump, and indicated that it was unfair and that the good things he did were overshadowed by these unfair attacks. I stopped him and clarifi ed that mine is not a political program.

I asked how I could help him personally.

He said he was "disappointed" that his choice for president was not elected.

Now, I can tell you from my emails and calls that political issues have torn families apart more than during the Civil War. My job is to help these folks back to being family.

The boy’s point of view was obviously a product of family conversations and opinions — the election was not really the point. I always try to use situations to teach more important concepts.

I confirmed with the boy that he was indeed "disappointed" and that just about half of the entire country was also disappointed. I told him that in every single election, people are disappointed.

I also told him there will be many disappointments in your life.

The girl you like may like somebody else. You may not get into the college of your choice.

You may not get the raise you ask for in some future job.

You’ll have to deal with the death of a loved one or maybe a business that goes under.

I assured him that this was just the beginning of having to face disappointment.

"You probably can recite many disappointments to me that you’ve already experienced . . . the Christmas toy you wanted, your sibling getting a privilege or success you didn’t, you weren’t allowed to get a dog, and so forth."

The point is not that you are disappointed — it is how you express and deal with the disappointment. You can create a fuss, get all negative, get all hateful and destructive, quit trying or caring about anything.

Many people do indeed resort to those pathetic, useless, impotent styles.

Or you can get more informed and more involved so that you can stand up for your principles when they are perhaps not popular or respected; you can do that with class, wit, and armed with tons of actual facts and not emotional reactions.

I reminded him that as he grew up his thoughts and opinions might evolve and be diff erent from those of Mom and Dad.

The plan should be that this possibility should not destroy ties of love.

Then a middle-aged woman called in with what seemed to be unrelated but what I thought was right on target with my conversation with the boy.

She said that when things go great for a while, she spends her time worrying about some bad thing (the other shoe) that might come and destroy the happiness.

Normally, a therapist would spend time dealing with her past traumas and family issues that led to her insecurity and anxiety about feeling good. I think a better approach is to say well, even though the thoughts of something bad happening are unpleasant, they are accurate.

Perhaps in heaven only good stuff happens, but on Earth it doesn’t work that way.

Of course, bad stuff will happen. However, instead of worrying about it in advance, keep in mind that "you’ve gotten through it before and you can do it again."

I had her repeat that out loud three times and the change in her demeanor was obvious and positive. Yes, disappointments and bad stuff happen. You’ve been there before, you will be there again and, frankly, you do know how to handle it with class and maturity.

Listen to Dr. Laura on SiriusXM Channel 111, Mon.–Sat. 2–6pm ET, Sun. 5–9pm ET.

Dr. Laura (Laura Schlessinger) is a well-known radio personality and best-selling author. She appears regularly on many television shows and in many publications. Read Dr. Laura's Reports — More Here.

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Yes, disappointments and bad stuff happen. You’ve been there before, you will be there again and, frankly, you do know how to handle it with class and maturity.
disappointed, family, therapist, traumas
Thursday, 31 December 2020 10:40 AM
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