Listening can be more helpful

Ranna, Fayteen’s daughter, still has major health problems. My brother-in-law continues to get weaker, so weak that he can’t walk by himself. A neighbor’s father died suddenly.

What do you say? Listening is often more helpful than talking, advises Susan Silke, a clinical psychologist, and Barry Goldman, an arbitrator and mediator, in the April 14, 2013, issue of The Dallas Morning News.

“If you’re going to open your mouth,” Silk says, “ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it. Don’t, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don’t need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, “I’m sorry” or “This must really be hard for you….”Don’t say, “You should hear what happened to me” or “Here’s what I would do if I were you.”

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