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Old December 3 2012, 03:05 AM   #213
Tora Ziyal
Rear Admiral
Re: Sayings that you hate now

auntiehill wrote: View Post
No, you then hug the person and let the person talk if they want to.
Exactly. Say less, listen more to the person who's hurting.

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
While "it's gonna be allright / will get better" is a comfort at times, in a situation that you are certain won't improve its use is not really appreciated. It always depends on the situation. For example, it would be pretty foolish to say it to someone who's on the verge of dying. It might, however, be helpful with a kid who fell and hurt a knee.
I agree. It's all about the context.

Thoughtless phrases, if recognized as such, can hurt more than insults because they indirectly tell us that the other person doesn't really care about us but reacts only automatically and without conscious thinking.

If you manage to put some feelings behind the words, it's a completely different matter. Then it's really a comfort
Yup. I've had people say things to me that would normally infuriate me, but the expression on their face spoke way more clearly than their inept words, and I was fine. I could even laugh afterwards, "I can't believe he said that, and I actually felt better!"

Something I've found in the last two and a half years is that the people who said little more than, "OMG, I'm so sorry!" when they first learned of my crises tended (notice I said "tended"; these are not absolutes) to be the ones who listened, or just sat with me while I cried, or provided practical assistance. They are the ones I will be eternally grateful for. The ones who initially said the most tended to be the ones who in the long run were less supportive, both emotionally and practically.

Ironically, the least helpful/reliable were the ones who started out with the most enthusiastic variations on, "Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help. Anything at all!" Anything apparently except what I actually needed -- mostly simple stuff, like a ride to a doctor's appointment. I suspect that on some level they were making the offer more to feel good about themselves than anything to do with me.

"What can I do to help?" is a wonderful thing to say -- when you really mean it and act on it. Otherwise, it goes on the hated sayings list for setting up false expectations.

(Okay, rant over. )
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