“I just got laid off.”
“Yeah I got laid off last year. It sucked. But then I started a business and now I make 6 figures a week! You can too!”
A response like that would make me want to punch the person in the eyeballs.
Well-meaning, but very unhelpful.
It’s hugely tempting to share our own experience in the name of” trying to cheer them up and show there’s a bright side to things.”
We think that by sharing, we make the other person feel less alone, and if we came out the other side, we can show them how to get there too.
But it comes from a place where we think:
We are OK.
You are not OK.
Where you are is not OK.
It is ego to think we know what’s good for the other person.
We are taking away from them, their right to feel whatever they are feeling, and to think whatever is going through their minds at the moment.
Just be still.
No framing of responses to interject during a pause
No solving problem
No telling them what you’d do in their situation.
And ask open questions.
How are they coping?
What does this mean for them?
How will this event change their life?
Who do they have for support?
What are their options?
Sometimes, a listening ear is all that’s needed.
We all want to be seen.
To be heard.
And to be understood.
Listening is the one thing that connects us more deeply than anything else. 🌹