Myth: Crying is weak.

Fact: Crying is a normal biological process. Just as noses sneeze and butts fart, eyes cry. This doesn’t mean you have to like crying, (who doesn’t try to avoid eating a bean burrito before getting a massage?) it just means that crying is part of life. Ironically, I heard that squeezing your butt cheeks together can help prevent you from crying, but I advise you to try that tactic only when you feel like it’s really necessary, because there is nothing wrong with crying.

Myth: Only crazy people go to therapy.

Fact: Going to therapy is a sign of strength because facing difficulties is harder (and more beneficial) than avoiding them. Medals are not awarded for suffering or struggling alone. Further, many people seek therapy because someone else was too scared to go. Hurt people hurt people. Going to therapy can help stop the cycle of pain – it takes courage to do that.

Myth: Depression is really laziness, people should “snap out of it”.

Fact: Depression can feel like a heavyweight, it can rob you of sleep, energy, and motivation. Therapy can help you to make small and meaningful changes when you’re feeling stuck.

Myth: I should be happy.

Fact: Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes, much like any other feeling. We cannot be happy all the time. Social Media tends to give people the impression that others are happier and living better lives than them, but this is an illusion. Happiness is not a constant state. It ebbs and flows. It’s not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it’s the small joys and fleeting moments that you see along the way.

Myth: Being passive-aggressive means that someone is passive, and then aggressive.

Fact: Passive-aggressive means that you are doing something that “appears” passive (eg not returning a phone call) but people feel aggressed by it (“of course he’s not calling me back, he hates lending me his crock pot”). If you act passively and then aggressively, or passive-aggressively, likely you have a hard time being assertive when you feel angry. Brushing up on your anger-management or assertiveness skills could be helpful.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Emily Blake, Psychologist

Dr. Blake is the owner and director of the Blake Psychology clinic and a regular contributor to the blog.

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