Four Things Not To Say to a Suffering Friend

By Refadoc, Posted on : Monday, 22 September 2014 - 6:00 pm IST

Four Things Not To Say to a Suffering Friend

When your friend is suffering from any loss, be it a death in the family, a divorce or a miscarriage, it can be often very difficult to say anything or offer any condolence. The common things to say can be ‘I am sorry’, ‘I understand’ or ‘I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts or prayers’. Though these lines may seem to be comforting to you, they can be the things you should not be speaking.

  • I understand how you are feeling: This may seem to be very comforting to you, but this is something which you should avoid speaking. Even if you are of an opinion that you have undergone something similar to this experience, there won’t be any chance that you could be feeling the way the other person it. You can without a doubt, empathize or relate to the other person, but you cannot pretend to go inside someone’s mind and be in their place.
  • This must be God’s Plan: This can be taken in different ways by different people. Someone can ask you this very simple question as to why would God want me to suffer like hell on this earth? Instead of bringing God’s plan into play, you should be reaffirming the other person of his faith. Saying that this was all pre planned can come out to be very insensitive on your part and could even be taken as something which questions the belief of the person going through an emotional turmoil.
  • If you need me, give me a call: This is very common and is something which everyone says. In order to sound sympathetic, everyone tends to say this to the grieving person. However, it is very vague and tends to put all the burden of irresponsibility on the person who is going through a personal loss. It is very unrealistic to think that a person going grief is going to come out and call you to help them out. Instead of asking the other person to come out and ask for your help, you should be going out and offering to help them with their everyday chores. Taking them out for a weekend in order to bring a change in their monotonous lifestyle after going through the loss.
  • This too will Pass: This is a good phrase, however, it should be avoided in terms of loss. If you tell someone that he or she will soon be feeling well, after this episode has passed, it is nothing else but wishful thinking. This can also be taken as something which invalidates the pain of the other person.

When you are keeping these things in mind, then it is going to maximize your ability to help your friend minimize the loss.  

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