Don’t worry, things will be ok”
“Things will work out how they are supposed to”
“You’ll be fine”
Common phrases we all use and hear every day of our lives. When someone we know is going through a difficult time, health issues, family issues, work issues, school.. whatever an individual is struggling with, we tell them the same thing. Often we use these phrases as our attempt to reassure or make them feel better that things will indeed be alright.
These phrases can carry great comfort to an individual when used in conjunction with a conversation proceeding such a statement. Conversely the opposite is true when it is our first response.
Have you ever truly given thought to what the other person was feeling? saying? thinking? or in our rush to make them feel better we use one of the above lines with no apparent thought and negate any help we could otherwise provide. We have forgotten the art of conversation, listening and understanding. We rush to solve problems without fully understanding them and we rush to make things better without knowing what we are making better.
These phrases end conversations. They provide nowhere to go in a conversation. Once used, a conversation is dead, even if it continues, we have expressed our thoughts independent of further understanding.
Think for a minute, every time one of these lines have been used with you. Does the conversation ever progress beyond that moment? Is there ever a further understanding of the issues? fears? heartaches? or concerns? The reality is that while we attempt to ease the concerns fears, etc.. of another by immediately telling them that things will be alright, we actually minimize the others feelings and concerns as unimportant. We never hear and can never understand what fears they may have, concerns or thoughts unless we allow them the opportunity to talk openly about them, without ending the conversation.
These phrases can send the message when used at the beginning of “i’m done with this conversation” “I’m not worried about your life” and even, “I don’t really want to listen to this”
Asking more direct questions like “what about this is scaring you?” or “what is your biggest concern?” etc.. will actually portray our correct level of concern and allow the other person to feel heard and understood.
This will provide a deeper level of compassion, comfort and empathy for those we want to help feel better in the first place.