Relate To Others Confidently - The Big Six


“You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair.”

Chinese Proverb

“One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.”

Erich Fromm


Sadness is a normal part of human existence, a fact that can be easily overlooked in a culture where happiness is seen as the ‘must have’ emotion. As well as being caused by our own experiences of loss, disappointment or change, we can also feel sadness in sympathy with others’ suffering.
Overcoming the difficulties and challenges that are the root causes of our sadness can be a great source of achievement and satisfaction in our lives. But there is a point in the process when it can be wise to let ourselves just be with our sadness and experience it fully.


Word of Warning

Sadness is not to be confused with depression, which is a serious illness with symptoms severe enough to interfere with your day to day living for weeks or months at a time. If you think you may be suffering from depression then it’s wise to visit your GP.




  • What words would you use to describe this man’s feelings?













Fed up


  • Think about how you would make a picture of sadness
  • Put on a piece of music that inspires this emotion
  • Use our Picturing Emotion Exercise to help you think about how you would make a picture on the theme of sadness
  • What are the colours and tones you would use?
  • How would you hold your body when feeling sad?
  • What would your voice sound like?
  • What kindly things do you do, or could you do to look after yourself when you’re feeling sad?


  • What would you do to look after a friend who was feeling sad?
  • Write your ideas on your piece of paper
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