Wellness Wednesday: Providing Thoughtful Support Instead of Toxic Positivity
How many times have you been talking with someone and realized that they were in a rough spot, but you didn’t really know what to do or say? Sometimes when we offer generic statements of support, it can sound like we’re minimizing people’s concerns.
Lauren English, licensed professional counselor and business development representative with Pinnacle Pointe Hospital, offers validating and supportive ways to respond to those in need.
English advises avoiding blanket statements, such as:
- “You’ll get through this.”
- “Never give up.”
- “Everything happens for a reason.”
- “Be grateful that it isn’t worse.”
English warns that these statements minimize the concerns of others.
Instead, English offers these words and phrases of support:
- “This sounds really hard.”
- “We’ll get through it together.”
- “Do you want to talk more about it?”
- “It’s probably really hard to see any good in this right now.”
- “I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense right now.”
- “I’m here for you, and I’m not going anywhere.”
- “This isn’t easy and you don’t have to pretend that it is.”
These statements allow you to give support without giving advice. Some people don’t want advice, so it’s important to lead with support. Finally, English advises thinking about how you’d want people to talk to you.
With these tips, you’ll be able to better support your family and friends who could really use a word of encouragement.
READ MORE: Wellness Wednesday: Toxic Positivity