I’m guessing most of you have heard the phrase, “treat others as you wish to be treated”. If you haven’t, I think it’s important that you do. Anyway, just as it’s important to treat others with kindness and respect, it’s also essential that you treat them with understanding – especially if you’d like to be understood.
I don’t think I know a single individual who doesn’t want others to try to understand them; to support them. I know that it kills me when others don’t try to understand what I go through with my anxiety, when they draw conclusions without trying to get to know me.
Sadly, I’ve witnessed some hypocrisy going on. I’ve seen some people who I know for a fact have suffered with anxiety or some other health issue only to treat me as if I’m insane just because I don’t struggle in the exact same way as they do. Let me tell you a quick story.
I was at the home of one of my relative’s best friends. I began to grow anxious – extremely anxious. Now just the fact that I tried to go to this individual’s house was hard enough and in my opinion, an important step.
Anyways, I was there and after growing anxious, I remember the person I’m referring to taking me outside and lecturing me. I don’t remember everything that was said, but she made me feel awful. She mentioned stuff about my parents not always being there for me and in the end, went back inside telling me to ‘come back in when I was ready’. She treated me like a dog. Even before then, she shook a bottle of pills right in my face, telling me how she had to carry medicine with her to help her. She treated me like crap, plain and simple. Then she implied that something was wrong with me because when she had anxiety it was nothing like what I was experiencing.
Let me tell you something: I was devastated. Here was a person who I’d known my whole life and she was treating me like I was insane. The part I really couldn’t understand was that she herself had suffered with anxiety. However, because we struggled in different ways, she treated me like we had nothing in common and like I couldn’t be understood.
Here is my point: if you want to be understood, it’s only fair that you at least try to understand others. I hope that if one day someone needs to talk to me and needs my advice on how to get through anxiety, I’m not the kind of person who makes them feel lesser just because we may struggle in different ways. I know that I’m not like that now for sure. I try to help people, I try to understand. I know that someone else may suffer from anxiety but have different symptoms than I do – that’s okay! It doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve my or anyone else’s help. It just means we all struggle in different ways!
The person who treated me so poorly? I’m guessing that she hated being misunderstood when it came to her anxiety. How she could treat me that way, I don’t honestly know or really care to know. Some people simply don’t know how to help people and judge before they care. Please don’t be that type of person, please try your hardest to help those around you and offer them comfort instead of making them feel stupid and alone. Thank you.