Don’t Minimize Others’ Pain

by General Caregiving, Practical Guidance0 comments

Do you remember the story, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? As the title suggests, Alexander has had a tough day. And one of my favorite parts of the book is when Alexander’s mother kindly says to him, “You know, some days are just like that.” She doesn’t try to give him a pep talk or platitudes, she simply acknowledges that some days are difficult.

When someone is hurting, don’t say things like “tomorrow, will be a better day” or “count your blessings” or “it can’t be really that bad.” Those kinds of words minimize the pain.

You can be like Alexander’s mother and acknowledge the pain and then say something like “Oh wow. It sounds like it was a really tough day today” or “This is really difficult for you, isn’t it?”

So, when your friend or loved one is suffering, remember to acknowledge their pain and listen.

A wise person tells us, “When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.”

For more video tips like this, go to our Videos page.

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


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