How will you support people when language fails you?

Do things that remind people who they are

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What do you say when you don’t know what to say?

Nothing. You say nothing. Because there’s nothing you can say. When somebody you love is bursting at the seams with pain and sadness and confusion and disappointment, there are no healing words to pave them like an avalanche of light.

The best thing you can do is create a world of action.

I have a friend who went through a messy breakup several years ago. Thankfully, her sister was the divine constant during the process. She was the faithful force who kept life stable and meaningful when things got a little too overwhelming. She was the safe haven from the whirling chaos and madness of the rest of the world.

But when I asked my friend what made her sister so helpful, she summarized it as follows:

Don’t ask me how I’m doing, just do things that remind me of who I am. Take me to a cheesy movie. Invite me to go jogging in the park. Pick me up after work and let’s eat dinner at that hole in the wall burger joint we love. Because while everything around me is a reflection of how I’m a complete failure, the last thing I need is another accountability partner to call me once a week to check in and ask questions and give me advice and say that they know exactly how I feel.

That’s creating a world of action. Standing as a compassionate witness to people’s pain.

Next time somebody you love has their finger firmly pressed on the misery button, stop trying to find the right words for things.

Instead, simply do things that remind them of who they are.

How will you support people when language fails you?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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