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Monday, May 25, 2015

When Easy Does It Doesn't

People mean well. But in my experience, when dealing with someone in crisis, many well meaning people often get it wrong.

Statements like "you're going to get through this" or..."I went through something similar years ago" or... "snap out of it"  roll off the tongue automatically and easily. And though a person in deep pain may respond to these bromides, more often than not, I've watched pat phrases like those fall flat. It's hard to resist suggesting easy answers, answers you're convinced would work for you. But this isn't about you. It's about the person who aches. Getting yourself to where the other person is can be hard and keeping yourself there is even harder, especially when that person seems to be talking in circles. If those circles frustrate you the listener, try imagining how trapped the speaker feels.

I've felt grossly inadequate every time I've dealt with a person in crisis. The only time I'm sure I might do more damage than usual is when simple solutions begin occurring easily to me.

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