Are you unsure what to say when it seems someone you care about is going through a rough time? There is a specific phrase that can help in almost any situation.
By Carol Rickard
It happens quite often…
Family members, friends, or coworkers have someone they care about & start to notice that person just doesn’t seem to be themselves lately.
Worried about saying the WRONG thing, they say nothing.
Sadly, this can actually make things worse.
Instead of feeling support, that person can be left feeling even more isolated or alone, thinking that no one cares about them.
So what to say when you don’t want to say the wrong thing?
I use it when I am meeting someone for the first time or checking in with someone I have known for a long time.
So what is this phrase?
“Help me understand what’s going on.”
Those six words can be a difference maker when it comes to offering support!
They immediately say two things to the person on the receiving end of them:
- You care.
- You’re listening
Being validated is the most powerful gift we can give another human being.
What we are saying is: “I see you. You exist!”
There are a couple of variations I use with this phrase which I find are equally as important and effective:
- “Help me understand what you’re feeling right now.”
- “Help me understand how I can be supportive.”
- “Help me understand what I can do to help.”
- “Help me understand what that means for you.”
If you boil it down: the three words most critical to say are:
“Help me understand…”
Don’t worry if the person is unable to answer you. The most important thing is you are there offering support!
When I have a person answer me “nothing” or “I don’t know”, I follow it up with a “when you do, I am here to listen.”
Do you have a phrase of your own? Please share it in the comment
~ To Living Well TODAY! ~