Life is a rollercoaster, with ups and downs that you nor your friends can control. Here are five things not to say to a friend who’s going through a tough time.
Many people quantify circumstances. Ever heard of the 80/20 rule or life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it? No matter how we choose to theorise life, relationships and friendships, here are five things not to say to someone close to you who is going through challenges:
I told you or I warned you before: Really? There are words you need to bite your tongue on and this is one of them. We honestly don’t know what drives people to do what they do, stay in bad relationships, or tolerate certain people and environments. Sometimes, all your friend needs is support and a shoulder to cry on. Just listen and be there for them.
You need to get over it: I once heard a friend who said this when I broke up with my partner. It stung as much as the break up itself and kind of avoided sharing anything else with her. Yes, I agree that you need to move on, but it’s not fair to be forced to or to rush it. Healing takes a long time, it can even take years. I honestly find it insensitive to say this. Just don’t say these words, please.
I know what you are going through/ I know how you feel: If you have never been through exactly what your friend is going through it’s important to say things they know you haven’t endured. Since we all react differently to certain things, we might have an idea of what our friends are feeling, but I doubt we really know.
Things happen for a reason: While we know this saying, it kind of sounds weird when it’s directed to us. What reason there possibly be for being retrenched or having a miscarriage. There are lessons to be learnt, especially in difficult moments, but saying these words to your friend who’s going through a tough time can sound more hurtful.
This is a sign/ things could have been worse: We sometimes say things to try make our friends feel better, but some words make them feel worse. Maybe their experiences are a sign or things could have been worse, but this is something they don’t want to hear at all. If you are not sure what to say, rather keep quiet and try to distract their minds by talking about is going right in their lives.
What is the worse thing you heard when you went through challenges? Share in the comments below: