We've all wanted to comfort someone who was hurting or mourning. My guest Annette Petrick shares some simple wisdom that will equip you well the next time you find yourself in that situation. Use the audio player above to listen to this 90-second show…or enjoy reading the transcript below.
“I know how you feel.” People often say that, to show empathy with someone else. The truth is, you probably have no idea how they feel. And saying that you do may really aggravate the other person or make them want to scream back that you could not possibly feel their pain.
So how do you comfort someone over a loss or a tragedy? You might say – I know how I would feel in that situation. You might even find better words to use.
Often, it’s best to just be quiet. Be a sounding board, rather than someone who gives advice. Let the other person vent or cry on your shoulder. A gentle touch…a hug …the holding of a hand – all those can express empathy better than a speech.
Sometimes you’ll share the tears; sometimes you’ll dry them. Just being there with someone you care for can be the greatest gift in their time of need. Being there…and quiet…and listening…and sharing.
You won't find that prescription on a bottle of medication. You'll find it in your soul.
Don’t be afraid of the person in pain. Don’t try to convince them things will be better. Just be there for them, with love in your heart.
Annette Petrick for Consider This
Annette Petrick is the creative genius and inspired storyteller behind the Consider This Radio Show, featuring 90-second episodes serving up “timely perspectives on life, love, friends, family, giving back, and giving thanks.” Be sure to get on her email list HERE. She sends out a new 90-second episode every Sunday morning.
This post appeared originally on the Consider This Radio Show website.