Most would agree it’s not easy to find the “right” words to someone who’s struggling. You don’t want to be hurtful, but saying nothing may not be the best thing either.
Recently, I was listening to Sounds True’s Insights at the Edge podcast with Ronald Siegel entitled, “The Psychophysiological Component in Healing.” Here’s how he says to respond to someone struggling with pain.
“What do you think is going on here? What do you think the problem is and how did you come to understand the problem as you do?” That will give you clues as to how to talk to the person. It’s hard. There isn’t one generic line that will be meaningful in understanding everybody. We kind of have to understand how each individual person came to believe what they came to believe and why they believe it—and then to validate your understanding of, well, it makes perfect sense that they might think what they think, or feel what they feel based on their experience.
Your partner may be coping with holiday stress. Your friend could be struggling with a dangerous ex or a loved one could be dealing with ADHD anxiety. Our top posts will give you an idea of what they’re going through. And then, consider asking how they’re doing instead of telling them what they should do.
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