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Laughing hysterically or hysterically laughing?

How people cope with difficult situations

My family calls me cold-hearted. Ouch? Not really. 

I mean, I do appear to be cold-hearted; although I’m … not. I just react differently to how they would expect me to react around them, and that doesn’t mean I am what they think I am. The thing is: I laugh instead of crying. And that bothers them, deeply. Although it shouldn’t.

I hope I’m making any sense.

Most people, for example, when one of their loved ones dies, are expected to cry with their families and grief together. They are expected to unburden from the pain by crying and consoling each other, and if they do not cry, they are seen as cold and insensitive. Just because they didn’t cry. 

The thing is that people don’t always cope the same way as others. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with them … and they shouldn’t be treated as an outcast because of that. 

Or even with something simpler, such as taking the midterms. Some act nervously and get all stressed out about them, others feel like throwing up from the thought of it, others feel irritated for having to take them, others laugh as a way to cope with the stress, and then there are those that do not feel anything in particular, those that are unbothered because they’re not affected by them. 

There are different ways to cope with different emotion-arousing situations, and all of those reactions are valid, no matter how strange they might seem. As long as they do not hurt anyone, people should be allowed to react as they want to, for their own sake and sanity. 

My way of reacting to harsh news, for example, is avoidance and laughter, this is why my family thinks I’m cold-hearted. The thing is that I just don’t like letting those that depend on me know that something is affecting me. And it’s not like I do not want to cry, it’s just that tears literally do not come out …  in front of them. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this consciously. It’s kind of one of my own personal dilemmas. The thing is that people’s reactions should be accepted as long as they learn how to overcome them, no matter how weird they might appear. For now, that’s their way of coping. But hey, at least they’re coping with it.

The only person that really knows you is … you. Simple, although it’s easier to say it than to digest it. You are the only one that knows how you really feel, think, and want to act. So you might as well embrace your feelings as they are. Rely on yourself to feel better and cope with harsh situations, because your own thoughts and actions are ultimately the only ones that are going to make you feel truly better.  

No matter how much we’d want to, there’s always a part of ourselves that we hide from others, even if it’s unconsciously. I mean, you don’t say everything that you think out loud,  do you? I certainly do not, for different reasons, but mainly because I wouldn’t like to sound like I’m crazy. 

The bottom line? Respect everyone’s way of coping with their situations. You don’t know how they’re feeling, and you just can’t assume how and what they’re feeling based on how they react around you.  

This can even be applied to this Corona Crisis. People cope with it differently. Some are deciding to binge-watch TV shows, while others are deciding to start exercising more. And both sides are okay. There are two sides to every argument, heck there might be even more. 

Some people see quarantine as a time to rest and chill because we’ll never get this much free time ever again, and others are deciding to be as productive as they can because we’ll never get this much free time ever again. It just depends on how you see it. Perspective. But, if it helps them feel good during these hard times, why not just let them be? 

Fernanda Pedroza

My name is Fernanda Pedroza. I am a senior who loves being happy. I am from Peru. My favorite food is pasta. A word that would describe me would be optimistic.

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