Angst vs. Honesty

Me in black and white

Is it angst or honesty?

If I’m honest, I struggle with being angsty sometimes. “Oh my life is awful! No one loves me! I would be better dead!” On and on the negative thoughts go.

Angst is annoying at best and only pushes people away instead of drawing them into your support team. It makes you seem like a victim instead of a survivor, a martyr instead of a warrior, a helpless person instead of a strong person.

Being angsty is negative, but being honest about your struggles is good. How can you find the line between the two? That is difficult but possible.

Honesty holds onto the truth and hope while angst sees only darkness and despair. Honesty speaks of hardship while angst celebrates it. Honesty hears wisdom and accepts comfort while angst only listens to itself and refuses to be consoled.

Here are some angst-ridden responses versus honest responses to life’s hardships:

Angst: I fail at everything in life. I am so very awful, and nothing ever goes right.
Honest: I just keep failing. I feel awful, and it seems like nothing will ever go right.

Angst: No one loves me. I am so hated and despised. There are no real friends in my life.
Honest: I am so lonely right now. It seems like no one loves me, even my close friends. I just feel alone.

Angst: I should be dead. I hate myself.
Honest: I wish that I were dead because I am so upset with myself. I just want to be able to start everything over again.

How do you combat angst? I would love to hear in the comments.


9 thoughts on “Angst vs. Honesty

  1. The tongue has the power of life and death. Our words should be an overflow of our heart, and our heart should be focused on good things. Its easy to find what is wrong, so I always say find 10 good things for every negative. Train the brain to see the good stuff! We can speak ourselves right into situations, either good or bad. I am a believer in saying things that you want to see happen, instead of what did not happen..

    • That is beautiful and very true. Thank you so much! I certainly want to be a positive and not a negative person.

      • I cannot take credit for the I took it from the book of James in the Bible…
        However, one thing I can say I have done in my career working with juvenile delinquents and depressed people, is learn this fact; negative reinforcement will never change long term behavior patterns. Positive reinforcement for the desired behavior will change patterns. I taught parent training for years and the hardest thing they had to learn, was how to catch their child being GOOD! I asked them to name a few things their child did wrong, and the list was never ending- but when I asked for a few good attributes, silence. Its a matter of retraining ourselves to see the good in things. No human responds positively to on-going criticism, but with consistent positive reinforcement, we will likely continue the behavior, because, hey- we all like a compliment, right? Anyhow, you have a great blog, and many, many things in common with my background. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Mike Kuplevatsky says:

    This was an awesome and honest post! That’s a tough thing to be living with, so it shows just how strong you are. I’m living with it, but I haven’t been able to fight it accurately. Sometimes, when I notice that I’m one more than the other, I take a step back and just take myself out of the situation for the time being altogether, so I know that I won’t slip up and turn to angst. I love how your examples are so truthful to the reality. Honesty is no different in statement, it’s just the perspective in which we think. But the route is similarly but said differently — seen a little differently and yet, it’s still there. How do you deal with it?

  3. MEM says:

    A very thoughtful and inspiring post once again, Miss Rose with Thorns. One more thing to throw in the mix is your physical being, such as how tired or hungry you are and your hormone levels, along with your social being, such as whether or not you have plans for a special time (e.g., when I was in my 20s, Friday and Saturday nights were “special” nights).
    And always remember to be more gentle on yourself, just like you sound so gentle on others.

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