Advice About What You Say To Someone Who’s Grieving

What You Say–And Don’t Say–When Somebody Tells You Their Troubles
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

Be careful what you say to people who are going through a really rough time.  They may have lost their job, or are getting divorced, or have a terminal illness, or their child just died.   You may have had a similar experience, and you may be tempted to tell what you felt and learned.  As a general rule, you shouldn’t.  Resist the temptation to try to match pain for pain.

I learned that when my daughter died after a terrible fight with cancer.  Until then, I was all too willing to share my experience, hoping that by sharing, I was helping.  Most times I wasn’t, and didn’t know it.

During that time, well-meaning people would come up to me and say things like,”My mother died of cancer, so I know just what you’re going through.”   I was hurting inside, and was thinking “No you do not know what I’m going through.”  I did not want to hear about somebody’s mother or father who had died, or about some son who had been killed in Iraq.  I’m sure those were excruciatingly sad moments, but I did not want to hear them just then.

I hated those comments, even though I knew that the people who made them were trying to be kind and understanding.  It was selfish on my part, I know, but I felt special and unique for a while, even though I knew that I was not unique–that millions of others throughout history had experienced grief-stricken moments.  But I didn’t want to hear about them.

I did feel a special kinship at that time with a friend about my age who had lost his son who was close to him just a few years ago. But that friend didn’t ever say those words, “I know what you’re feeling.” He could have, but didn’t. Instead, he said simply, “I am so sorry. If you ever want to talk about it, just let me know.” That was enough.

So resist those good-natured impulses whenever you hear that somebody has learned really bad news.  I won’t say you should never tell your story. There may be some situations when sharing your experience will be helpful. But for every time that your comments help, there will be ten times when you will sound preachy, or wiser-than-thou, or you may sound like you’re saying, “You’ve got problems, wait till you hear about mine.”

In the movie “Middle of Nowhere,”  Dorian ( who’s played by Anton Yelchin) tells Sarah (played by Eva Amurri):   “I hate it when people try to match each other’s pain.”

Amen!

Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-435-2225 or abe@mindspring.com Learn more about Gene Griessman at presidentlincoln.com and atlantaspeakersbureau.com

Don’t leave yet. Check out at least one more article. You’re already here. Why rush off? Whatyousay.com is full of good advice. We guarantee you’ll be a better communicator if you invest more time here.

“Dramatically change your life for just $9.95! You will learn how to complete important projects, find more time reach elusive goals, see your dreams come true, have success in your career, and feel inner satisfaction. These 99 principles tap into powerful sociological and psychological forces. We guarantee the results.”

99 WAYS TO GET MORE OUT OF EVERY DAY [Kindle Edition] $9.95

 

“This book reveals practical time-savers that I use every day.  It contains the very best concepts from Time Tactics of Very Successful People. “–Gene Griessman

 

 

99 WAYS IS AVAILABLE ON KINDLE AT THE LINK BELOW
AMAZON.COM: GENE GRIESSMAN: KINDLE STORE

WEBSITE SPECIAL “LINCOLN ON COMMUNICATION”

“One of the very best videos/DVDs ever made. It’s a classic like ‘Gone With The Wind.’ I show it in many of my seminars. Everyone loves it.”
–Brad McRae “The Seven Strategies of Master Presenters”

 

It’s perfect for self-study—for people who want to improve just like Lincoln did. The running time is 60 minutes, which makes it perfect for the classroom. It comes with a teacher/trainer guide written by Dr. Griessman, which includes discussion points and much more.

This resource is ideal for the classroom—for students from middle school and high school to college, government, and business. It’s been acclaimed by communication experts and educators.

$120.00 (This is a discounted price for whatyousay.com. Many videos of this quality sell for as much as $1000.)

Free Shipping in the U.S. International shipping and handling, add $15.

Purchase with no risk. Lifetime, no-questions-asked return guarantee.






 

 


This entry was posted in Funerals, Death, and Dying, Never say... and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Unable to load the Are You a Human PlayThru™. Please contact the site owner to report the problem.