What to say when you don’t know what to say – part 2

We need a part 2 to yesterday’s post about what to say when you don’t know what to say. (If you didn’t see it you may like to switch on notifications for this page – you could have been missing out on all sorts of life-changing posts, not least me in a Minion onesie!). Firstly I missed out a very important one: Ask the other person how they are feeling. We often make huge assumptions about how another person might be feeling. We can’t be empathetic or supportive until we know how they are feeling. Emotions change all the time – they may be frightened one day but optimistic the next or sad one day and furious the next. Your job as a partner / friend / family member is to figure out how they are feeling today and how you can support them. Which leads me nicely on to the co-responsibility aspect in all of this. If YOU are the person who has had the cancer diagnosis / bereavement / shitty day etc, then it really helps if you actually say how you are feeling and ask for what you need. Your partner is not a mind-reader. You may feel they ‘should’ know how you are feeling and what you need but the chances are they don’t. You are a unique person and will react to life events in a unique way, your partner will see them and react to them differently. When people ask how you are, if you reply with a ‘fine’ then don’t be frustrated if people treat you as if you are ‘fine’. And if you just don’t want to talk about it let them know e.g. ‘I don’t know quite how I’m feeling at the moment but I don’t feel I want to talk about it, can we talk about something else please?’ Or, ‘I’ve had a crappy day and am in a terrible mood, please be nice to me / give me some space’. It’s only fair to give those around us a clue to how we are and what we need. Please be honest and make requests. Pls Like / Share.

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