It can be hard to know what to say when someone shares something difficult with you. Our natural urge to help, fix, protect (ourselves and others) kicks in. Remember that offering presence is key, and there is really no ‘fixing.’ Just our open heart, our authentic experience, our regulated nervous system, and our love and care. To ‘be with’ is the greatest gift. To ‘be with’ offers healing.
Here are some suggestions on how to respond to someone who shares their traumatic experience with you–whether it’s a friend, a coworker, or your child—these are some alternatives to common pitfalls when trying to support one another.