Knowing a loved one is in pain is hard. Many of us want to solve their problems for them or tell them what they should do to no longer be in pain. It is so easy to stand back and look at how others are dealing with issues and make declarations of how they should do it differently. Humans are kind of experts at giving advice to others, they may not even be doing themselves.
When we see a loved one in pain a natural assumption is that they are healed or there is success when they are no longer in pain. So we do anything we can to coax happiness out of them. We give advice, you help do hard things, we try to make them laugh or have fun.
While all of these can be helpful in the healing process, have you ever wanted to say to someone, Don’t talk me out of my pain, or better yet you can’t talk me out of my pain. And you shouldn’t have to. Feeling the pain is an important step in the healing process.
Don’t talk me out of my pain.
Most people have a desire to help others when they are in pain. Unfortunately a lack of communication or lack of understanding can turn into the would be helper making selfish decisions and giving advice that is more of a benefit to their own comfort zone rather than really helping the one who is grieving.
Let’s talk about how we can avoid talking someone out of their pain and actually helping them.
5 ways to Avoid Talking Someone out of their Pain
1. Listen without giving advice
When someone is in pain we want to help them. Often our first reaction is to rack our brain to give them answers and steps to take to “feel better”. Oftentimes what we really need is just a safe place to explore and process our feelings and grief. There does not always need to be an answer for everything.
2. Ask permission before giving advice
If you do want to give advice or you feel they are wanting advice, ask them. Don’t tiptoe around it and be unsure just ask, “are you wanting any advice or do you just need me to listen?” Easy peasy.
3. Speak in” I “ statements
When talking about your own personal experiences speak in I statements rather than suggesting they should do it like you did. For example, you can say, “when I lost my Dad I found therapy very helpful.” Instead of saying “you should go to therapy, that will help you.” The way you phrase something can be the difference in it being helpful or not.
4. Remember everyone grieves differently
You may not understand why someone chooses to grieve the way that they do. Whether it is joining a support group or wearing a necklace with their fathers ashes to work. It may not be what you would do, but it may be what they NEED to do.
5. Open communication is key
At the end of the day just like anything else in life, ask questions and keep the lines of communication open. You may not know the answers and neither do they but if you keep communicating you can figure it out together.
Letting someone feel their pain rather than always trying to find a way to stop it can be the first real step toward healing.
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