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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Opinionated... Varsity level

My good friend calls me "Varsity Opinionated."  So here it is.  There are times in a person's life when circumstances are out of our control. (Well.... all the time) - but what I mean is major life changes.  Birth, Death, Weddings, Divorce, Accidents, Illnesses, Special Needs... the list goes on - but these are the most prevalent I believe.  Here are some things well meaning people say.  You should all know - these are inappropriate responses to situations in this "Varsity Opinionated" person's perspective.

I know what you are going through -  (um... no you don't)  unless you've actually done the exact same thing in the exact same way at the exact same time... you don't


I understand - No you don't.  unless you've actually done the exact same thing in the exact same way at the exact same time... you don't


Everything happens for a reasonAlthough this statement is true... Sometimes these are not seen as words of comfort. Better to err on the side of caution.


Maybe this is for the best - see above notation.


Any statement that puts your needs first - (I want to come see you. I want to ....) Totally inappropriate. Another person's struggles are not about you.  Another person's birth is not about you.  (maybe they want some private time.)


Any time you try to "One Up" the story with some other story - When people come to you for support, the last thing they want to hear about is your "bigger and better" story. 


Gossip  - No one wants to hear about how they were the topic of your latest phone conversation.


Doing these things could damage a relationship beyond repair.


Now... there are things you Should Do or Say....


I'm here for you. - Offering up those simple words can be just the right thing. 


How can I help you? - Sometimes this is enough. Sometimes you need to offer suggestions.  Can I bring dinner by? Can I stop at the store for you?  Would you like some company? Would you like some candy? Ice cream?


A care basket or card. - Do not undervalue the effects of a card.  No one uses cards anymore. We e-mail. We facebook. We ... whatever. We don't hand write little notes and stick them in some one's mailbox.  We don't do care boxes.  I once gave a box of hard candy to a friend I knew was trying to quit smoking during a rough time. Do you know what it cost me? $5.00  You know what it gave that friend? Support.


Remember that life changing events change a life - Things don't automatically go back to normal in a day or a week.  Sometimes it takes a long time to grieve or celebrate something.  Sometimes people find themselves talking about that life changing event even a year or two later.  Allow them to have these moments.

Be available - You never know when your words or actions might be needed.  If you see a friend have a major personality change... like slip into a depression - be observant.  That doesn't mean read extra meanings into everything they say, but a true friend will keep an eye out.  If you do suspect a depression or personality change... choose your words carefully.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Write down what you want to say.  Practice.  And no matter what - make sure the person you are supporting knows you are always available. 


Remember.... This is just one set of my very Varsity Opinions 

1 Comments:

At March 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM , Blogger Kisses4Kaylee said...

Love it! Best. Post. Yet!! xo

 

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