One of probably the most delicate facets of interacting with a buddy or liked one who’s troubled by psychological well being issues is the ‘help’ we attempt to supply. For most of us, who aren’t skilled within the psychological well being division, this assist comes within the type of conversations and what we are saying to consolation the particular person and make them really feel higher.
Now, whereas our intention in making an attempt to deliver them consolation could also be good, most of us are unable to convey it or prolong the correct of help, by failing to decide on our phrases correctly. So as an alternative of serving to out, we regularly find yourself doing unintentional injury. So we obtained in contact with counselling psychologist Tanvii Bhandari who can be related to Untangle as a therapist, to assist us perceive and navigate via such conditions higher.
“When someone shares anything they’re going through in the mental health space, they are in a very vulnerable space and they’re being extremely brave by sharing it with you. It’s basically like exposing a wound. It’s not fun for them, it’s scary and they really don’t want you poking the wound. But a lot of us end up doing just that by not being good listeners and by not being respectful of the person who is sharing their troubles with us,” Tanvii tells MensXP.
That’s when folks find yourself saying all of the flawed issues. Tanvii helps us out by sharing some examples of such statements which must be averted in any respect prices.
1. “Oh my god, I went through the same thing!”
2. “Oh you know, this happens to everybody, so many people feel like this.”
3. “This is how XYZ got out of it.”
4. “You just do this and you’ll be out of this.”
5. “Have you tried this…that…and this…”
Tanvii tells us that once we give these aforementioned ‘helpful’ solutions and attempt to be supportive whereas trying to convey the message that ‘you’re not alone’, that isn’t what we find yourself speaking. Instead, we find yourself making them really feel extra remoted as if to suggest that they’re at fault for feeling the best way they’re feeling.
Elucidating on what the opposite particular person may be searching for from us as an alternative, Tanvii provides, “What they really want from us is to listen to them and say ‘I’m here for you’, ‘What can i do for you’. If the person asks, ‘Am I the only one going through this’, that’s when you bring out your stories and say ‘No you’re not the only one going through this, there are others.’”
When it involves giving any type of recommendation, Tanvii iterates that except the buddy or liked one instantly asks for it, we shouldn’t impose our solutions on them. But, “If they ask for suggestions, you can say something like, ‘You know this worked for me when I went through this, maybe you can give it a try too.’ This is a very respectful way of putting this across. Instead we end up dismissing, isolating and making them feel shitty about what they’re going through by not being mindful of our words.”
Tanvii additional shares that accountability types a vital a part of remedy. As a therapist she at all times makes her purchasers turn out to be accountable for what they really feel. However, she cautions that as a buddy, if we make them really feel unhealthy by holding them chargeable for their ‘sorry state of mind’ we are going to solely be sending them down a darker gap. On the opposite hand, “In therapy I’m not just making them confront what they can do differently, I’m also making them understand the things that were out of their control and came in the way,” Tanvii provides.
Providing us with a really poignant clarification, Tanvii says, “A great analogy I like to use for mental health is physical fitness. So suppose I’m putting on weight, it could be for a myriad reasons that are very different from why you are putting on weight. So perhaps a heavy breakfast works for me, but you put on weight because of it. Or curd really suits me, but creates acidity in your body. We need to take these differences into account.”
“So imagine I tell a friend how unhappy I am with my body or the way I look. My friend then tells me about something she tried which helped her lose weight in three months. But when I try it and don’t see the same results, think about how I will feel, I’ll feel like shit. But instead when I choose to go to a nutritionist, an expert or a fitness trainer and they give me advice, that is usable advice, which will work and help me get where I want to go. But my friend’s personal experience wouldn’t make a similar difference.”
“Similarly when it comes to mental health and sharing personal experiences we need to put out that disclaimer – ‘This worked for me. You can try it if it resonates with you.’ We usually don’t put out that disclaimer and end up dismissing people instead.”
Elaborating additional on different statements which could be detrimental to folks affected by psychological sicknesses, each identified and undiagnosed, Tanvii says we must not ever say issues like –
1. “You have too much free time on your hands, that’s why you’re depressed.”
2. “You are so indecisive, that is why you’re so anxious.”
3. “You don’t look at the positive things in life, that is why you’re sad.”
4. “You just need to look at the positive side of things.”
5. “You need to have a busy day.”
6. “Try a new hobby.”
“All of this is very easy for us to do, that’s why we recommend those things so confidently to others. Whereas for the other person it may not be easy at all and often we forget that. We forget that every person is unique. So it’s very important to validate their feelings – whether those feelings may be – sad, depressed or whatever word they use to describe it, we need to validate it. Very often we invalidate another person’s feelings by saying things such as –
1. “Arey tumhein kya tension hai.”
2. “You have so much money in your account, why are you worried about this?”
3. “You have such a good job, why are you stressed out?”
4. “You have such a great spouse, you have nothing to be sad about.”
5. “You’re doing just fine”
6. “ You just need to think positive.”
“These are positive but unhelpful things to say to someone.” That’s the one parting recommendation Tanvii leaves us with. To be extra conscious and thoughtful of our phrases when making an attempt to assist an individual who could also be beneath plenty of psychological strain.