How many times have you heard this saying? Or said it yourself to others?
But have you ever stopped to think whether this saying was beneficial to others, was their genuine feeling and emotion behind it, when said?
Chances are, like many people you have never real thought about it. It’s an automatic response for some people. Or maybe you don’t know what else to say, so at the time it sounds good.
I remember after being diagnosed with cancer that I was ready to hit the next person who told me to ‘think positive’.
People with well-meaning advice yet few had experienced cancer, so they didn’t have an understanding of what it felt like to be told you have a life threatening disease.
Those who had struggled and survived cancer simply said ‘I understand how you feel’.
Before, you say to someone who has just lost their job, being diagnosed with an illness, being involved in a car accident or any other stressful or traumatic event – Stop!
Stop and ask yourself, how would I feel if it was me? What would I need from my support network?
When you talk you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new – Dalai Lama
Allow the person time and space to process the information or event. Ask them, ‘how do you feel?’ then listen, really listen to them with your heart. Not your mind where all our judgements are formed.
Listen with your heart, where compassion, empathy, kindness and love resides.
Support the person on their journey to finding acceptance and peace with the situation. Tell them that you are there for them.
By giving the person space to process what is happening, truly listen to their feelings and offering support, has more meaning and compassion then ‘think positive’.
There is nothing I can say, that will take away your pain and suffering. All I can say, is that I care and will be there when you need me. – Amanda Ray