Inappropriate Responses When Comfort Is Needed
When someone is having a bad day, anxiety attack, extremely anxious, these are things NOT to say or do:
· No response – You don’t care or not important enough to bother.
· Wow – Not interested. Especially when not followed up with questions.
· Change the topic – I didn’t want to deal with this.
· Start saying how YOU deal with it – because your way is the only way, right?
· Random suggestions – Especially when it makes it clear you don’t know the person as well as you thought.
Instead, this is what you can you do to help comfort your friend, co-worker or family member.
· Listen – Listen to what’s being said. A solution isn’t always necessary. Sometimes just a listening ear.
· Ask questions – If you don’t understand ask for clarification before offering advice.
· What can I do to help? – If you don’t know what to do, ASK. If they don’t know, fall back to listen.
· Keep your word. – If you say you can do something they need doing, DO IT. There’s nothing worse than someone who doesn’t keep their word.
· Offer your assistance in practical ways. – If you’re invited over, take food, take it the trash, cook a dish, fix something broken in the house. Do something practical if you see them.
The key is to not think and act selfishly when someone comes to you or implies they need some sort of comfort. While a lot of people may bounce back quickly, there are many who don’t bounce back fast or at all. I don’t know what goes on in individuals minds, but I do know that I don’t want to be the cause they sink further, or worse case feel there there is no way out but death. So take a moment and consider how you can help them.