The content of this blog is owned and copyrighted by Rachelle J. Christensen. Please do not reproduce or publish any content on this blog without written permission from Rachelle.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Words Won't Make it All Better, But They Can Definitely Make It Worse

I wanted to continue the thread from my previous post found here.
I mentioned that it's hard to know what to say, but something that can help relieve the stress and discomfort is to know that words won't make it all better. It doesn't matter what you say to a person who has experienced a miscarriage or any kind of grief--it's not going to miraculously change their situation.
But in the same vein, words can definitely make it worse. So how do you find a balance?

I think the key is in realizing that you can't fix the problem so don't try to say something to fix it. This usually ends up in statements that diminishes the other's loss and causes added pain.
Instead, be sympathetic and if possible, empathic. Sympathy is expressing compassion, concern, or care for another's situation. Empathy is when you offer sympathy from a viewpoint of experience. You've experienced the same situation and so you recall how you felt and offer comfort.
Both sympathy and empathy are needed. But sympathy is not telling someone, "At least you know your baby would've had birth defects and died anyway."

That is a person's attempt to make themselves feel better about the situation--not the person mourning. For some reason, no matter what the situation, humans automatically grasp for a reason to provide justice or explanation to the occurrence. What you must realize is that if you are offering comfort to someone, you can't share with them what comforts YOU. You can't explain to them why something happened, offer philosophical insight into how the world is just, etc. and hope that they will smile and say, "I feel better. I'm not sad anymore."
No, those are things that cross your mind and help you understand the world you live in, but they don't comfort someone who is grieving.

So next time you're in a situation where you need to offer comfort, make sure that is what you're offering. Not advice, reasons, justification--offer comfort.
And shake off the worry of needing to say something that will make them feel all better and realize that you're not going to make them feel ALL better, but if you're wise and offer heartfelt expressions of sympathy/empathy you might make them feel better for a time--feeling ALL better is something you can't give to another person. It's up to them and it takes time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your support. Your comment will be reviewed before it is published here. My goal with this blog is to help others and I will only publish comments which I deem suitable for this site.

Related Posts with Thumbnails