Social Question

jordym84's avatar

Where do you turn to when you need emotional comfort?

Asked by jordym84 (4742 points ) June 5th, 2013

The reason I ask is because I’m currently going through a rough, emotional patch as a result of something that happened this past weekend. Normally, I can easily get myself out of a rut without much external help, but I’m truly struggling with this one.

There are two people I know I can always turn to for emotional support, but one of them is on her last week of her last semester in college and, with a major like architecture, she’s under a lot of stress with her final projects/presentations. She’s been checking on me periodically via text message and on Skype to see how I’m coping, but I feel bad burdening her with my problems, even though I know she doesn’t mind it. The other friend is in Belize for her honeymoon until Monday and I will not be bugging her at all with my problems this week. The first friend lives in Brazil, the other friend in Texas, and I in Florida, so it’s not like I could just drop by their houses and get a hug with a side of comforting words. But anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

So what about you? Is there someone or something that gives you comfort when you’re feeling down? What is it about them that helps you get through a rough patch? Any words of wisdom/inspirational quotes you’d like to share to help me get out of this funk?

Thank you. :)

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37 Answers

bookish1's avatar

I’m sorry to hear you are going through some trouble and are feeling isolated. Are you able to call your parents or other relatives?

I’ve been having to learn to deal with social isolation since I started grad school. It’s such a big difference from college, when my best friends were a 5 minute walk from my dorm.

For comfort, I return to reading some of my favorite books, or watching some of my favorite movies. If I am feeling down, I’ll stay at home and try to watch something funny and force myself to laugh. If I am feeling antsy and energetic, I’ll go lift some weights or take a long meandering walk. Cooking helps me feel productive and allows me to focus on an immediate and creative task, which also takes my mind off my troubles.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I tend to internalize much of my negative emotion, but my husband, mom and friends are generally able to at least ‘get me out of myself’ if I’m struggling too much.

Frankly releasing anything out of my control to God and being calm and quiet (like fishing or going to the woods) generally works for me without bothering others with my problems.

peridot's avatar

I’m sorry you’re in that patch. You’re also very considerate of your friends—I bet they’ll be there for you as soon as their respective doin’s are finished :)

Try getting out into nature (that’s where I go to commune with what’s been called “The Divine Wow”), or you could see an intense movie (romance/action/etc., whatever does it for you). Are you creative at all? Do you like to work with your hands? Taking on a small project might be good. Cleaning house is a great way to work off pent-up juju—and you have a clean house to show for it afterwards, which is great for your well-being!

So sayeth this “wise” person, who is much more inclined to internalize, like @KNOWITALL ;)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@peridot Cleaning house is great and baking can be relaxing as well, thanks for the reminder!

jordym84's avatar

@bookish1 Thank you, I appreciate your kind words! I’d love to tell my parents, but they worry too much because I’m so far from home, so I don’t normally tell them when something’s wrong, unless it’s really serious. Usually reading, watching my favorite movies, baking, cleaning around the house, going for a walk, exercise, etc, help. But I can’t bring myself to do any of those things today (or yesterday). Hopefully going back to work tomorrow will help me get my mind off of things for a few hours.

@KNOWITALL I can relate…I always keep things to myself until my parents or one of my friends who know me well enough to know when something is not right gets it out of me.

@thorninmud If you’d suggested cats two weeks ago, I would’ve said I’m not a cat person. But this past week I fell in love with my friend’s week-old kitten (they found him meowing in a tree on a stormy night and took him in). Now I kind of wish I had my own little fur ball. lol

@peridot Your writing style definitely brought a smile to my face!! :) The house is super clean (I’m sort of a neat freak). I do, however, have a table-top that I painted and need to add some finishing touches to but have been putting off for almost a month now, so I might just do that.

zenvelo's avatar

I have a few friends I can rely on, usually a quick email or a short phone call.

And in the dark of night, when I am really weighed down with worry, I turn to prayer, just a general conversation with my higher power and request that things turn out alright and that I can grow to accept whatever happens.

I am lucky that I can always go to an AA meeting to find people to talk to.

jordym84's avatar

@zenvelo Thank you. I’m not really religious (though I grew up going to church) but when I get extremely overwhelmed, a quick prayer for everything to be ok seems to calm me down. I’ll try that tonight when I go to bed.

rojo's avatar

i internalize it all

Coloma's avatar

Yes, my cats, ( and my now ex geese ) and gardening and sometimes a little marijuana. haha
I have found that really, we are the only ones that can comfort ourselves, by allowing our feelings, being self aware enough to identify our emotions and holding to the tried and true mantra of ” this too shall pass.” Being a slave to our emotions is unhealthy. Emotions happen, but they do not define who we are.

I rarely discuss my feelings with others, on occasion, but….bottom line, nobody really gives a shit, it takes another very self aware person who has the skills to employ active listening and empathy. Most people are woefully bereft of this skill, they are too ego centered to really be able to actively listen to others.
It is up to us to take care of our own emotional climate and find our own way.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Coloma And lest we forget, fluther is always here for us..lol

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yes, Fluther is sort of like a “Dear Diary”...I have been here over 3 years and it is only recently I have shared some of my current challenges. Prior to this time I in-joyed a lengthy stretch of bliss and stability. The seasons they are a changin’ for me again.

Plucky's avatar

I turn to my partner, my dog, drawing, dancing, cleaning, writing, music and Fluther.

I’m sorry you are going through a tough time. It’s very kind of you to be so considerate of your friends. I’m sure they appreciate it greatly.
You could find some comfort in doing things you enjoy, such as hobbies or leisure activities. Posting on Fluther can really help as well. There are a variety of people here, with different experiences and expertise, who can give advice and support.

janbb's avatar

My close friends with whom I can talk about everything.

Leanne1986's avatar

A lot of the time, when something is bothering me, I feel unable to talk to people about it so I will wat h or listen to something that I find comforting. For example, the TV programme Jam and Jerusalem is one of the most comforting TV programmes ever made for me. There were only three series but I have watched every episode so many times I have lost count. It’s simple, relatable, humorous without being side splitting and, most of all, even though there are some sad stories, uplifting. Sometimes I will put it on with the intention of falling asleep to it because that’s how much it relaxes me.

Other things I will watch when I need emotional support are concert DVDs of my favourite singers (you all know who those are by now) and documentaries (nothing to depressing though, something like a Michael Palin travel documentary). I suppose all of these things help me to forget about what is upsetting/bothering me and takes me to another world until I am ready to deal with my own again.

I find a lot of emotional support in my job as a dog trainer. I can go to a class or session feeling like the world is about to end but once I get started working with the dogs and their humans I forget about my troubles for a while.

YARNLADY's avatar

Usually my husband, sometimes the internet (reading stuff, not asking) and often, my Mom who passed away 30 years ago. I take a long hot shower and talk to her.

Rarebear's avatar

My banjo. You can’t be sad playing a banjo.

figbash's avatar

When I can’t handle the problem myself or feel like I’m burdening my friends and family too much, I go pro. Especially if I know that I need help in order to get through it.

I will find the best resource (psychotherapist, relationship counselor, energy work) for my situation and try to get an objective opinion on how to handle it. I’ve found what @Coloma addressed. I have a lot of great friends and many of them are empathetic and good listeners, but I find that sometimes comes with telling me what I want to hear, and not necessarily the facts of the matter, or solutions. Then there are the platitudes. I find that if it’s a pretty serious problem though, it can sometimes be unfair to expect people to know how to help in the way that you need or to be frustrated with things like…well, platitudes.

That being said, to answer your question specifically, I go to my sister first, my best high school friend second, a fantastically intuitive work friend third and my sweet buddhist friend fourth. I also am a really visual person, so I can get easily lost in walking around and looking at things – so I’ll head to a store or window-shop downtown for distraction and objectivity.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this rough time and I hope it resolves soon. I also think you’ll find a lot of incredibly empathetic and insightful people here on Fluther who are willing to help in whatever way they can – and that’s actually a great source of comfort, too.

Headhurts's avatar

Depends on how upsetting the problem. Normally my boyfriend, but if it messes my head up too much, I have other means.

jordym84's avatar

Thank you all so much for your kind words and advice! It’s very comforting to know that I can always count on my fellow Jellies for a boost. I watched two of my favorite commedies (Bridesmaids and the first Hangover movie) and I’m feeling a bit better. I was also planning on going out for a long walk but, eish, mother nature had a different idea in mind as it’s been pouring rain non-stop. I also called my friend’s mom (the one from TX). Even though I didn’t let on that I was upset, it was wonderful to just hear her kind, soothing voice because she and my friend sound a lot alike, and I really needed that. I’ll Skype with my mom later when she returns from work (she lives in a different country) and I’m sure that’ll help a lot, too. I will probably not mention my being upset, but I just hope I don’t start crying because that’ll surely make her lose sleep until she talks to me again and is certain that I’m ok. lol

@Coloma I absolutely agree with you and the fact that it’s all in my hands and I’m usually emotionally self-sufficient, so much so that my family and friends always admonish me for not telling them when something is wrong (usually after the fact; that is, if they find out at all). But this time I really do need emotional support from a caring friend. Thank you for a great answer! :)

GAs all around!!

marinelife's avatar

Comfort is really important. Do you have no local friends who would at least be good for a hug? Or a spouse?

Lacking that, I take a hot bath, have a cup of chamomile tea, seek comfort on Fluther, write letters or emails to distant friends, take a walk to a nearby woods or stream.

cazzie's avatar

@jordym84 We are social creatures and it is only natural that we seek our acceptance, validation and solace among our local social group, how ever we define and find it.

jordym84's avatar

@marinelife I do have local friends, but they’re not close friends and are busy with their own lives, which is ok. I did send a few emails to friends I haven’t seen in a while due to distance (just saying hi and checking on how they’re doing, not talking about my problems lol) and I’m also working on a care package/thank-you notes for some great people I met this past week at my Texan friend’s wedding. Doing those things is bringing me a lot of comfort, though I’m dreading the moment when I run out of things to do because I already know that I’m going to start ruminating on the situation that’s made me so upset…but hey, at least I get a few moments of peace by staying busy and I’ll take what I can get :)

LornaLove's avatar

I really don’t turn to anyone if I think about it. I have mostly turned to one person my SO. I am quite a private person so will sometimes post here if I need help. I guess I could say loads of things like write a journal each day, or ask for help here, or find a counselor (just to chat through tougher things) but I am not sure that would help. It’s a lousy feeling when you can’t get it off your chest. I know that feeling. I used to be very isolated for reasons similar to yours and would phone a life line type of call center. Just to talk. It did really help at times.

Bellatrix's avatar

My husband. He gives great cuddle. I hope you feel better. Perhaps we can help you? A trouble shared is a trouble halved and all that.

talljasperman's avatar

My bedroom, big cold pillows and gigantic comforters. TV and Fluther.

jordym84's avatar

@LornaLove Wish I had an SO to turn to. ~ I’m private, too, which is why I haven’t brought it up to any of the friends who live near me (the two friends I mentioned above are the only people with whom I feel at ease sharing certain things because they truly listen and I never feel judged by them). Distance is not my friend right now. lol

@Bellatrix Thank you. Well, it’s nothing out of this world, and certainly not something I won’t get over in time, but I didn’t want to bog you guys down with too many details which is why I left the story itself out of my question. But here it goes: essentially, after over a year of being happily and blissfully single I finally met someone with whom I connected on such a deep level that I truly thought I’d found something special. I hadn’t been looking to get involved with anyone because I spent a good part of this past year trying to get over a failed relationship that left me scarred (I found out that, not only had my ex been cheating on me with someone that worked with me, but he was also married back in his home country). But anyway, I digress. Back to my story: I met a wonderful guy at my friend’s wedding. He’s my friend’s husband’s cousin but they are like brothers and he was the best man at the wedding and I a bridesmaid. We met a few days prior to the big day and had an immediate connection. I wasn’t even aware that he liked me until my friend kept telling me that he was constantly asking about me. The night before I had to return home he asked me out to a play and we had a wonderful time. He even offered to drive me to the airport the next morning, which was two hours away from where we were. We had been texting since I came back on Sunday and I just couldn’t get him out of my mind. I’m not forward at all when it comes to relationships but I knew I had to say something to him about how I felt because I was almost certain the feelings were mutual (which they turned out to be). I texted him yesterday morning and told him that I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him. I also told him that it wasn’t my intention to put any pressure on him and that I could totally understand if he didn’t feel the same. He messaged me back right away and said that he, too, couldn’t stop thinking about me because he’d had such a great time and was truly happy when he was with me, but that his life has been in crisis for years (my friend had mentioned that he’d battled depression) and he’d also been avoiding relationships all this time and he was finally getting to a good place and didn’t feel comfortable bringing someone into his life yet, not to mention the distance separating us. I understand where he is coming from and am appreciative of his candidness, something I wasn’t used to in my previous relationship. However, even though I was prepared for the worst, it still hurt to realize that it was all an illusion, that I hadn’t found that “special someone” after all. I’m not really the kind of girl who gets caught up with these things and I don’t daydream about meeting “Mr. Right” but I totally let my guard down and fell for him (especially his intelligence and the amount of things we have in common) and now I feel silly and heartbroken. I think my biggest disappointment is in realizing that I will not be able to spend my life with this wonderful guy who is so different from every other guy I’ve ever met and who was so kind and caring and incredibly funny and interested in everything I had to say (and a great kisser, to boot). On the one hand I’m glad I found out sooner rather than later, but on the other hand I kind of wish I hadn’t asked. And I already know that, from now on, I will probably, undoubtedly and subconsciously compare every guy I meet to him. I’m sorry for the lengthy details, but I guess I really needed to get all of that off my chest.

Bellatrix's avatar

That’s cool. I doubt there are many of us older jellies who don’t have someone lurking in our memories that ‘might have been the one’ but it didn’t happen. As you say, better you found out sooner than later. I think it’s better you did ask and now you know where you stand. No room for mistakes or hurt because he led you on or you led yourself on.

Take an hour or two to pine for what ‘might have been’ but then it’s time to move on. Think of it this way, you didn’t think you’d find someone you clicked with so well but you did. That means out there, closer to you than this guy, is someone else who will be equally suitable as long as you’re prepared to give him a chance.

Years from now you might find yourself wondering about ‘whatever his name’ and wonder what happened. Or perhaps in the future your paths will cross. Life’s a bit weird like that.

Sending you a hug, a warm blanket, a soft pillow and a movie voucher for a romantic film you can watch. Then back to it lady.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@jordym84 Thanks for sharing that. I understand how you feel at this time, but think of it as a slight curve ball in life if you will, life loves to do that to us. I have had those same feelings as well before, but then all of a sudden God plopped someone who was a waaaay better kisser right down in front of me and I wasn’t even waiting for him but he ended up being my perfect guy. I know it is hard to see it right now, but you hopefully have a long life of kissing in front of you and it will be with the perfect guy for you. And maybe he is the perfect guy for you but it just isn’t in the cards right now. My mother always told me “if it was meant to be it will happen”.

I am wishing you all the best.

Mariah's avatar

I swear I’m an adult, but – my mother and my cat, often. My cat has passed on, sadly.

Nature and hobbies too.

jordym84's avatar

@Bellatrix and @nofurbelowsbatgirl Thank you, thank you, thank you!! :) I’m doing a lot better today than I was yesterday. The good thing is that I don’t normally brood for too long, I just have to allow myself to get it all out of my system so I can feel whole again, if that makes any sense. I’m a firm believer in “if it’s meant to be it will be” but sometimes, when you’re in the moment, it’s hard to see things that way.

@Mariah I swear I want a kitty now!! I used to say I hated cats and didn’t trust them, but I’ve sincerely had a change of heart in the past week. But I’m sorry to hear about your cat! Sending hugs your way. :)

jordym84's avatar

@nofurbelowsbatgirl Correction: I want a cat and a laser pointer.~ Thanks for the video!! :)

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@jordym84 :)) lol I knew you’d fall in love with at least one of those funny kitties I thought you’d go for the cheaper kitty in a box version or kitty in a jar version. Lol. You can get a laser at the dollar store, so you don’t have to be out too much money. Now you have to get a kitty!! :)

augustlan's avatar

Sorry I’m so late to this question, but sending you a hug anyway. Glad you’re feeling a bit better!

marinelife's avatar

@jordym84 I am glad you are actively working on the issue. I’m sorry that you are going through this. Sending a zen hug your way. Asking a local friend for a hug is not bad or hard. Most people will be happy to help. If they are not close friends you don’t have to tell them why you need it just that you do.

If you run out of things to do go down my list of comforting activities. Another one I would recommend but only once in a while? Make some comfort food: mac and cheese or whatever it is for you.

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