Words, once said, can never be undone.
Yup, words are that powerful.
And during this time of the COVID 19 pandemic that the world is filled with so much uncertainty, we have to keep in mind to choose what we say.
The least we need right now is to trigger more fear, stress, hopelessness or sadness among those around us.
Empathy is key nowadays. We should give ourselves and others the chance to know and understand our current space so that we can move on and forward and eventually become our own #bestmeever ”
Not everyone is on the same page at times, admittedly.
Be mindful though that people have different perspectives – and we should just allow and respect that. Give others the same space you are giving yourself to grow and flourish, at their own pace.
Never pressure others to bounce back immediately if they’re not yet ready.
Allow me to share with you my list of things we should avoid saying to practice sensitivity. These are actually some which I heard people say to others who were already struggling in their space. I can’t help but put it here so that people will be more mindful.
1. “You’re over reacting.”
This is so not true given that each one has his/her own way of responding to a situation. Given the different spaces we are coming from and the different experiences that we have, we cannot say that one is just over reacting without really understanding everything.
Solution: So come from a space minus of judgement. Tell them instead:
“I hear you. Allow yourself to express your emotions and when you’re ready, let’s talk.”
2. “Don’t focus too much on your feelings.”
Never ever tell people to set aside their emotions. Remember, feelings influence our thoughts and actions. So by telling others to invalidate them, you are taking away their chance of properly processing the space they’re in.
Solution: Allow others to really acknowledge their feelings and understand fully where they are coming from. Tell them instead:
“Take a step back and allow yourself to feel everything. When you’re ready to share with me, I will be waiting. “
3. “I told you so.”
Now is not the best time to come from one’s ego and reminding others about what should have been done. Pointing out previous mistakes can trigger more negative emotions than do the other person well.
Solution: Focus on empowering the other person on what can still be done differently. Tell them instead:
“I see. So what can you do now to address that? What support do you need from me?”
4. “I pity you.”
This is not showing sympathy at all. It’s like you are highlighting how seemingly hopeless the other person’s situation is. Remember, others don’t need to hear what they already know – they need to be empowered to see beyond the space they’re in.
Solution: Cheer them up. Encourage them to see the silver lining. Assure them that they’re not alone. Tell them instead:
“Hey, what can be good about this? I got you. Know that you are supported and loved always.”
5. “That’s how life is.”
This is something on a personal note I don’t agree with. Life becomes what it is based on the choices you make. So don’t just justify everything by pointing fingers at the situation on hand.
Solution: Encourage others to take responsibility for themselves. Empower them to rise above. Tell them instead:
“I know you’re so much better than this and I see you thriving soon. What can you do to allow that to happen? How can I journey with you?”
A little empathy will go a long way.
Journey with that in mind, always.