“I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you.”A superior alternative to, “It will all be okay.” Because you don’t know it will all be okay. And it might not be okay.
Grief, a topic we often unexpectedly get exposure to.
And when the time does come, how do you support your friends after the traumatic event?
While reading Option B, a fantastic book (thus far) by Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg, some insight on how to interact with those grieving captured my attention.
If you’re not very close with the person try “I’m here if you want to talk, now, later, in the middle of the day. Whatever will help you.”
This opens the door where they can choose to take a step, instead of being forcing to make a decision with the typical “Do you want to talk about it?”
If you’re close to them, don’t shy away from being direct and really understand how are they’re doing – in the rare cases they don’t want to talk about it they’ll let you know.
This is so important because research overwhelmingly shows that silence is crippling for victims of tragedy.
After all, when you’ve been hurt or have experienced loss you want to know:
1) I’m not crazy for feeling hurt
2) I’m supported
You and I, our friends and families, humans – we want to feel heard.
Listen to the grieving, the hurt, the broken.