When sitting with someone who is in pain, it can be tempting to give a cliché response when we don’t know what else to say. Although our intentions are good, we generally aren’t helping the friend who is in crisis. Here is a list of things to shy away from when someone is in the midst of a very painful event.
While there is truth to many of these sayings, it really comes down to timing. Is prayer necessary? Absolutely. Was God trying to get your attention? Maybe. Is God good? Always.
Does someone who has lost a child need to know that God is good? YES! What about the woman who just found out her husband has been cheating on her for years? The woman who was raped? Or the parents who found out their child were raped? What about your friend who was just diagnosed with a terminal illness? Or who just had a death in the family?
But hearing these phrases right after receiving the heart wrenching news? This just isn’t the ideal time. I personally have felt more supported when someone sat with me in silence as I grieved than give me advice I wasn’t ready to hear.
If we're honest with ourselves, it isn't easy to just accept "well this happened for a reason" (shrug) when you've been sexually abused by someone who should have taken care of you. Typically these phrases lead to guilt and shame of the recipient if not said at an appropriate time.
While these clichés are said with good intention, it is typically because we are uncomfortable sitting in pain (especially someone else's). In my opinion, one of the best things you can do for someone in the middle of a crisis is sit with them (oftentimes in awkward silence) and be available.
Blog inspiration from: http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/
I'm a Christian counselor who loves to help people get to the root of their current problems so they can live from a place of authenticity and freedom!