In addition to "Don't feel bad,” some people may encourage you to replace the loss and add, “you can get another dog.”
Have you heard, "Don't feel bad, there are plenty of fish in the sea"? Before you heard this, did you know that you were dating a fish??
Or “Don’t feel bad, here’s a cookie”?
Or any other combination of “don’t feel” and let’s move forward with something else?
When it comes down to it, we can replace our feelings with something else that makes us feel different, but doesn’t necessarily make us feel better. We may even grow up believing that every loss is replaceable. It can start with a cookie during childhood, but lead to other things later in life like more food, sex, alcohol, drugs, etc.
When you think back, how did these two statements show up in your life? How does it affect you now?
I’ve met a lot of people who have been told don’t feel bad, but the problem is: they feel bad! They’ve lived a lot of years stuffing down their emotions, convincing themselves that they don’t feel, and in turn, having difficulty in identifying what they are feeling in any given moment.