How social myths contribute to struggling mental health issues

There are so many untrue old myths floating around regarding how to manage life and money, that they get repeated by people who want to help, but can actually end up hurting us.

I remember being told some of these gems when I was younger and struggling, and my daughter has told me she was told some of those same gems when she was struggling.

Not only are some of those old myths untrue, but the people repeating those old tropes feel better after repeating them to us, and are then upset at our lack of “trust” or our “disloyalty” to them when we DON’T follow their “advice”. Ummm, because it doesn’t actually apply to me?!

Here are a bunch of them nicely assembled by Buzzfeed’s “People Are Calling Out Examples Of “Richsplaining” (AKA When Rich People Give Wildly Out-Of-Touch Money Advice), And It’s Spot On“.

I’m going to nab some of the ones I’ve been told, and will be modifying them a little to reflect my own experiences. I hope you’ll share some others which you may have been told!

Remember, no matter what advice people may try to give, you have the ultimate say as to whether it applies to you, or if it’s an interesting idea, but not doable for now!

“This is especially clear when you see affluent people sharing “tips” for folks with lower incomes that assume they have resources that they simply don’t. See also: the assumption that poorer people are being held down by lifestyle choices rather than low wages and rising costs.

In a nutshell, if a money tip doesn’t apply to your situation, it’s bad advice for you. It might work for someone else, but that’s not your life. Oh, and I hope we can all agree that giving others unsolicited money advice is just rude.

Buzzfeed’s “People Are Calling Out Examples Of “Richsplaining” (AKA When Rich People Give Wildly Out-Of-Touch Money Advice), And It’s Spot On

Some of these really affected me and others got under my skin so much, but each of them affected my relationships with the people giving them. I know they meant well, but they believed in their nuggets of advice so deeply, so when I saw the piece of advice really didn’t work well for me, the person’s perception of me changed. They either became cool and distant or they just started saying negative things about me.

Advice is nice to receive – when we ask for it.

When the advice is unsolicited, given simply because the person perceives we have a problem and they have a solution, but haven’t considered if the advice actually fits our situation. This ends upmaking us look argumentative when we try to explain why the advice isn’t working.

“You have a scarcity mindset. You just have to think more positively.”

u/whyfi

While there’s some hidden truths in this nugget, simply telling someone this idea won’t do any good if the person receiving the advice has NO idea how to do it much less what it’s all about.

Sorry, this ends up making a person feel ashamed of having any negative thought at all!

I talk a lot about teaching ourselves to think positively and the benefits of it, plus I’ve explained how to move from the scarcity mindset here in Red Ocean or Blue Ocean? How do you think?

Here are some links to learning about what positive thinking really is, how to do it and the benefits we get from it:

‘Just work harder and invest every extra dollar you have.’

u/karnick80

Sounds like great advice – if you have extra dollars!

When I was a single mom any and every time if by some miracle I was able to save a few extra dollars, an emergency or unplanned expense would pop up.

There were a few years when I was underemployed, working, but not able to get enough hours to live without having to constantly juggle which bills were going to get paid.

Being a low income parent means that we sacrifice things for ourselves so our kids have their needs met, school fees paid etc.

When we live paycheck to paycheck: ‘Why can’t you manage your money better?’

u/cyrano_nose

I heard this sooo much!

It’s amazing how judgmental people are when we’re struggling with money. Everyone is offering their “help” by telling us what we should and shouldn’t be spending our money on, and it seemed to vary with each person telling e what to do.

We were already living down to the bone. We lived on the proverbial “hot-dogs and spaggeti” at times that we were so sick of it. My daughter also had severe IBS, so as we discovered, the beans and rice diet didn’t work well.

I remember how people came up to me after I was separated, and advised me to think about changing my “expensive shopping” habits.

They were ALL shocked to learn that I had been buying all our clothes second-hand at thrift stores, bazaars and off the deeply discounted clearance racks. I would stock up on some grocery items when there were clearance sales, did some of my own canning, and used my freezer advantageously.

Funnily, I ended up giving some of those busy-bodies some helpful tips!

When wanting to get a better job and not just take ANY low-paying job, as a single mom: ‘Money doesn’t buy happiness.’

u/fte5838

This one chaffed me so badly! Why would people discourage someone else from trying to better themselves or to improve their life situation?!

I wasn’t looking to buy happiness, I was looking for a better job to pay ALL my bills, without having to juggle them. I didn’t want to be underemployed or to just take another low paying job!

There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve one’s finances and overall

Or this one when stuck in a bad job:

“Why don’t you just get a better job?!”

u/walkeatsleeptvwest

With running around to drop kiddo off at school or daycare, rushing to get to work, putting in a full day and then rushing to go get kiddo and get home to fix supper, do baths, homework, etc., where’s a person supposed to find the time to run around to interviews?

For hourly workers, every hour on the clock is money that’s needed to pay the bills, so taking time off isn’t doable when you don’t have the kind of job where paid time off can be tapped into.

A job search was done only when necessary, i.e. when a temp job ended, or there were layoffs, etc.

Being low income and having to run around on public transit because there isn’t money for a car, leaves no energy left for looking for a better job!

That’s why it’s important to try to find a better paying job when one is in an actual job search, because the only opportunity to do that would be when we’re unemployed!

“Just learn to code” Me, who has struggled with basic HTML and CSS and can’t get a basic IF function to work in Excel without hours of googling: “…fascinating.

u/ohlookahipster

While I’m a whiz at working with different software, coding wasn’t something which cam naturally to me. The people who told me to learn to code had “picked it up” by themselves!

I wish I had been able to just pick it up too, but my mind didn’t work that way.

Coding classes were extremely expensive, so that was out of my ability to pay for. *Sigh!*

“Instead of wasting all your money on rent, just live in your parents’ spare house while you’re going to college buy a house!”

u/babyyodasdirtydiaper

I had quite a number of people telling me to just buy a house, but the financial reality of being able to save a down-payment was crazily out of reach.

When I got married we did have an opportunity to have a down-payment because people had provided cash gifts, but unbeknownst to them or to me, my husband was a Cocaine addict who ended up putting the entire cash amount up his nose. The big influx of dollars seemed to shout at him to just go wild and party it away.

We ended up in debt from all that when the dust settled.

After we divorced, I was thrust into instant poverty, as are many women with children after a divorce. He was the bigger wage earner, and never encouraged me to better myself or to go after the better paying jobs, so after we divorced, it was like I was just starting my career while his was going wonderfully, thanks in large part to all the support I had been able to give him.

I did learn this: no matter what your personal life circumstance is right now, that doesn’t necessarily equal your future!

Sometimes before we can set a plan into motion into our lives, there’s a lot of underbrush that needs to be cleared out. Getting out of debt and improving one’s credit score is necessary to achieve some big life goals. Setting up a doable and easy to understand budget to track and monitor where the money is going and to get on top of future spending is a vital step.

There are many financial tools out there to help get started, and sometimes asking for help, the good kind, is crucial to moving things forward!

Creating a workable budget can show us where some poor habits might lay; the next step is to try to tackle them one at a time. I don’t recommend trying to change every financial habit at once, for it’s difficult to stick to. Instead, try to implement one small thing.

When you feel comfortable with it, try another small thing!

By the way, this is the method which works best for self-help and for healing of trauma!

“Just lay off the Starbucks and the avocado toast cut off your premium cable/streaming services and you’ll be just fine !”

u/pvinesgis

Ah, yes! The assumption that a low-paying hourly worker is just blowing their “massive” paycheck on frivolous items! If only, right?

And finally:

“‘You manifest the reality around you.’ A fancy way to imply that one is at fault for sub-par life-living’ and that everyone had an even chance all along.”

u/pass-the-water

Sometimes we manifest the reality that we were trained/brainwashed into or led to believe was all we deserved!

When we come from abusive pasts or have been severely criticized, our self-worth is extremely low. We have come to believe we deserve what we are living, unaware that we didn’t deserve the rough breaks we got.

There’s a lot more to that way of thinking than merely tossing out some platitudes!

In order to manifest the good things we desire, we need to first teach ourselves to believe in ourselves, to be able to believe that we deserve it, or WE WILL JUST END UP SELF-SABOTAGING OURSELVES!

Yes I wrote that in all-caps, to underscore what actually happens. We don’t consciously do this, it happens as a result of the inner beliefs we carry around about our worth.

I’ve done it, and if you’ve read this far, I’d be willing to bet you’ve done it to yourself too!

When I became aware of the truths underlying these myths and “advice” being given out, I set out to work on myself and to teach myself to move past all the damage done to me in my past.

I’ll be honest with you, none of that happens easily or quickly! It takes a lot of time and effort, but as I told myself, my life will pass by anyway, so why not be trying to do this work?

I found the work to be gut-wrenching and exhausting, so my progress was excruciatingly slow. I’m probably not an isolated case, but part of a large group of people who struggle for years to grow and heal.

I wrote my books to try to help others walking along this same path, as a way of trying to share some of the knowledge I had learned the hard way, not having been able to afford therapy, a life-coach or a mentorship.

If you’re just starting out on your journey, the best advice I can give is to be patient with yourself! Even something as small as a baby step is working on your behalf to help create new neural pathways in your brain, helping to rewire your brain to become more positive overall!

Hang in! I believe in you!

Keep focusing on the step just directly in front of you! The next one will appear when it’s the right time for you, not necessarily when you want it to!

Sometimes we need to allow a deep new personal truth to sift deeply into our spirits before we can manage to move to the next one!

You’re more capable and awesome than you realize right now, in this moment! Woot, woot!

I hope you’ll poke around my Archived Posts to find a wonderful trove of supportive and encouraging posts!

I’m sharing more posts that may be helpful for you:

More good stuff:

Teaching ourselves to like, even to love ourselves

By changing our inner dialogue, we change EVERYTHING!

Challenge: When a negative thought enters your mind, think three positive ones. Train yourself to flip the script!

Red Ocean or Blue Ocean? How do you think?

An answer to dealing with the Inner Critic!

My top 10 most viewed posts, plus a few bonuses!

A helpful trick to be able to overcome negatively Comparing Ourselves to others…

Do you only accept yourself if you look a certain way?

A new you! Is this possible?

Start today, start tomorrow, just start!

There is no enlightenment outside of daily life – Thich Nhat Hanh

Please go to my Archived Posts page to find more wonderful posts to check out!

Blessings!
Thank you for sharing this post and for following me!
Tamara
https://tamarakulish.com/ Archived Posts: https://tamarakulish.com/archived-posts/

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Developing Happiness When You Can’t Find It and How to Heal Your Life on a Deep Heart Level are available in paperback and Kindle. Audio book available!

Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:

Removing Inner Blocks,    Anger Journal,    Guided Anxiety Journal    Joy & Mindfulness Journal     My Boundaries Journal   My Inner Thoughts Journal   

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16 thoughts on “How social myths contribute to struggling mental health issues

  1. Wow, you have written so many books.
    I will see of those are available in India or not.
    I like the structure and style of this blog.
    It was fun and the same time very informative. You have share a lot about your life and it’s very inspiring.
    People give a lot of unsolicited advices and they want to intervene in others matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Devang, and thanks for following! I feel I can only share what I have experienced and learned for myself. If what and how I say it resonates with others, then that makes me very happy!

      Like

  2. I think people should not give unsolicited advice to others in general because you never know what’s going on with that person and what their situation is in life. What you see on the surface isn’t the whole story.
    One thing that pisses me off a lot is when people say that the younger generation (like people my age) don’t get well paying jobs because they don’t work hard enough or aren’t qualified enough. I’ve seen people with multiple degrees working at fast-food places because there just aren’t those many jobs available for us. With the increasing prices and incomes staying almost the same it’s hard to make enough to survive these days. It’s not like it was a few decades ago or even one decade ago. Jobs are so much scarcer especially the good ones.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree. Even though I’m a Boomer, I see the new realities facing people. I choose not to live in the past but to look at how we can navigate through this new reality.

      The pressures that old tropes (and even new ones) put on us is incredible. Choosing our own paths is part of how we help our mental health.

      Life is challenging enough without slinging judgementalism at each other! Historically, every older generation has negatively judged the younger generation, due in part to the older generation forgetting how they themselves behaved when young!

      Yes, youth is more impulsive and rejects the moors of their elders, but people mature and grow over time. I haven’t seen anything substantially different from your generation to how my generation was at the same age! Interesting isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s great. I think a lot of people from the older generation are understanding but quite a few of them are also not very understanding of what the times are like now.

        That’s so interesting. I think we’re all like that when we’re younger and like you said we mature as we get older!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think I’m seeing “normal” amounts of Boomers who have forgotten who they were when they were young! This revisionist thinking often happens when a person goes from being fairly wild to becoming very conservative when older. In conservative circles there’s a lot more judgment of “youthful indiscretions” and so their inner need to whitewash their past is much stronger because they fear being judged by their peers.

          Of course this leads to frustration with the younger generation, because it’s frankly hypocritical!

          In our world, fear has become a powerful weapon used by leaders to get people to do, vote and donate $$$, that this problem is amplified. Fair? No.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I see. I think that makes sense. I guess as they become more conservative they also try to hide their past because it wouldn’t be acceptable to their news friends. How sad that they take it out on people that have nothing to do with them.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. So trueeeeeee. This reminds me of the Kardashian sisters telling women to “get off their asses and just work”. A family who come from a privileged background and got famous because of a sex tape – giving this advice – arghh.
    Although, I do give unsolicited advice to youngsters but usually about saving money or not spending beyond their means on unnecessary items (like fashion/makeup) or spending money on experiences not material possessions.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m laughing to myself about the Kardashians, so true!! Well meaning advice given out of context to the person’s reality can add so much additional pressure into their lives. I too gave unsolicited advice until someone told me bluntly not to. Then I realized that I was doing what had been done to me. Now I wait until I’m asked. That’s hard to sit on one’s hands though if we’re dying to say something! 😬

      Like

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