Inevitably there will be moments in your life and in the life of others where we will experience heartbreak. Perhaps the heartbreak/ache is a the result of divorce, death, break-up, unfulfilled timelines, professional life, family situations, inability to conceive a baby, being single yet desiring a romantic space, not getting the job or into the academic program of your choice, health issues or any other experience.
Everyone processes these spaces differently but in the moment when you are fully immersed in the pain there are a few common but very unhelpful things people say:
Just pray about it – Do you know if they have not been praying. Depending on the situation some people may have been in prayer for quite some time yet that does not mean they are not heartbroken or experiencing the gamut of emotions resulting from their ‘it.’
It could be a lot worst – Well you know what it could also be a lot better! I’m talking Oprah’s wealth, first class jet setting across the globe, frolicking across golden sands and cooling off in gorgeous water around the world better! Nonetheless the ‘best and worst’ case scenarios does not change the very real present moment they are feeling.
It will be okay or any other cliché. – Yes, in time when they do the work to heal this space, yes, life will feel better but what they are feeling right now in this moment is very real for them and depending on what ‘it’ is they may not be in a place to conceptualize ‘better’ for they are truly living breath to breath.
You are better-stronger than this. – This implies they are being weak for feeling and allowing their emotions to run and this depending on the person and situation can cause more harm than good.
A lecture or to chastise. – In the mist of their vulnerable heart space is not the time to give lectures or to chastise them. In the most ideal situations people are not receptive to these and especially not during these times. Instead, of using any of these techniques, I recommend to ask,
‘What do you need from me?
How can I help you during this moment?’ and then listen.
For some they may just want you to be a sounding board, no advice, no judgement, not trying to fix it; but instead just listen and allow them to be. For others they may simply want to be held. While others may want to engage in some sort of activity to give their mind a break from ‘it.’ This is what it looks like to customize your relationships.
Are you currently experiencing heartbreak/ache from your own ‘it?’ We are here and are available to help. Schedule your session today. – Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS