Why don’t you follow through with things that you start?
If you would only listen, you wouldn’t have this problem.
What are you going to do with your life?
You will never change.
How many times have you heard the above sentences uttered in reference to you? Were they family members or friends who felt compelled to give you unsolicited advice?
I have actually never met an individual who did not have an opinion about someone else.
The media presents experts, often four to six people usually displayed in boxes on the TV screen. Each has the opportunity to share their valuable advice or opinion on the subject of the day. Many times, as one is speaking and the others obviously do not agree, they shake their heads or make faces indicating their disapproval of each other’s opinion.
By the end of the segment, these experts are talking simultaneously and arguing. It becomes impossible to understand their individual perspective because each continues to get louder.
Has no one ever mentioned to them the etiquette of communication?
Our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, cashiers, waitresses, attorneys, judges, doctors, etc. all form opinions of each of us and they certainly believe they are right.
We are all guilty of being judgmental. Without even noticing it, I find myself formulating an opinion about what an individual is doing and what his motive might be. At the time, I am confident that my findings are true and factual even though my opinion was determined in 10 seconds.
Frequently we base our opinions on outward behaviors. If we notice a man dressed in old clothes, dirty and unshaven sitting beneath a tree with a brown paper bag next to him, what is our assumption?
Do we determine he is homeless, probably an alcoholic or addict and he is likely using the system?
What if a young girl around age 10 is standing on the curb just a few feet from that man?
Does our interest heighten and do we worry that the young girl will be harmed in some way? Is this my problem and should I take some action?
Here is the reality. For the past five hours the man under the tree has been working with a local church. Taking it to the Streets is a service they provide to help the elderly. He has repaired a roof, dug a trench, built a deck, built a wheel chair ramp and made four trips to the dump. His name is Joe and he is an attorney. The little girl is his granddaughter and she was waiting for her mother in order to cross the street and run to her granddad.
The man beneath the tree could have been a homeless man and he may have had problems. What you see outwardly, however, may not always provide you with the facts.
When there is bipolar disorder in a family, everyone involved can go from point A to point B in a heartbeat.
Relatives can quickly determine what bipolar disorder is and predict how the individual will behave. Some call this stigma, I call it human nature. We do this to each other and others do it to us.
When dealing with bipolar disorder, it can take considerable time, organization and management to get from point A to point B.
Don’t be too quick with your opinions. Remember the story about Joe, the attorney, and have evidence before you make a judgment.
In my old age I have learned two things: one, not everyone is interested in my opinion and two, I am not always right.
Bipolar Insights celebrated 16 years on July 26: check out the Website for details at bipolarinsights.com for information.
Become a fan of Bipolar Insights on Facebook.com/bipolarinsights.
Newcomers class is on Sundays from 7-8:30 p.m. at 681 Main St. in Placerville, room 208.
Bipolar Disorder is what you have, not who you are. All are welcome.
Make sure to check the Website for closures.
The 2014 calendar/journal is available at bipolarinsights.com.
Co-founder and facilitator of Bipolar Insights, Marcia Rose, can be reached at [email protected] Weekly classes start at 7 p.m., Sundays at Marshall Medical Health Conference Room 207/208, 681 Main St. in Placerville and on Mondays, in Room 304, Green Valley Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville. The fee is $5 per person. Check bipolarinsights.com for complete details and further information.