Speaking Mental Health
Forward Times Mental Health Advisors
Busy people often express wishing there was more time in the day so that they could get more things done. If one’s value was measured in the number of things that were accomplished in the day, perhaps having more time in the day would be helpful. However, after years of learning and working as a therapist, and having the opportunity to work with many different clients, I have come to learn that there are few things more gratifying to people than peace of mind. Take a pause and think about it; at the end of all best-case scenarios stands peace of mind, waiting there to embrace you. Knowingly or unknowingly, peace of mind is the one thing we are all striving for.
At some point in time, we’ve all likely said or at least have heard someone say, “I gave them a piece of my mind,” or something close to that. I want to be clear in sharing that having peace of mind is not the same as giving someone a piece of your mind, although there is a subtle connection between the two. In most cases, when a person gives another a “piece of their mind,” essentially, that person is telling the other what is felt or thought in a manner that is more aggressive than it is assertive. I would like to believe that most people would prefer not to give others a “piece of their mind” and would rather simply communicate their concerns, feelings, and ideas, with the expectation of being both received and respected. If this is the case, then giving a person a “piece of your mind” also serves as a clear indication that you are not experiencing peace, as you have resorted to taking a more hostile approach to communicating your thoughts or requests, in effort to help usher in the peace that you desire. Yes, the idea of giving someone a “piece of your mind” is universal and there is no doubt in my mind that regardless of language or cultural differences, others know when they are being “told off” and we know when others are “telling us off” or “giving us a piece of their mind.” Peace always desires the path of least resistance.
Since we have established that no one really wants to be the person to feel as though they must give others a “piece of their mind,” and it doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of a “piece of another’s mind,” it is important to understand and identify the source of this peace that we all so desire. True peace flows from within and is more founded on how one views and feels about oneself rather than the sentiments or responses one receives from another. As I have previously expressed, the only control a person truly has is over their own outlook and output, which is what he or she will think, say, or do, and peace is birthed from contentment with one’s outlook and output. At the core of giving others a “piece of your mind” is a cry out to be considered worthy of being accepted.
When a person learns to love and value himself or herself, and develops a healthier mindset, their worth will not be influenced by what others say and think, especially when those words and thoughts are intentionally negative. The need therefore to force others to validate your words, thoughts, and feelings reduces as you learn to appreciate the unique person you are and the beautiful mind you have. Therapy can provide you with the skills and the resources to develop a healthier self-talk, self-image, and self-respect. When you find your peace of mind, you will also find it unnecessary to give others a “piece of your mind” and commit even less energy and attention to others who attempt to give you a piece of theirs. This peace of mine is the result of peace of mind. I am here to share it with you.
Michael Dangerfield, LPC, NCC