Not Everyone Is Merry – Learn to Listen

Big emotions aren’t there to torture us. Rather, they show up to offer us some insight, to point out something that needs healing, or to help us address a deeper problem. Kate Hanley, author of How to Be a Better Person

The holidays are anything but merry for many people. When you speak with a friend who is struggling, resist trying to cheer them up. Instead, start with simply being present.

Listen. Let their words in. Say things like, “I hear you saying…” or “It sounds like…”. Hanley reminds us that jumping in to problem-solve or attempting to absolve their fear with toxic positivity may inhibit them from recognizing the insight that the emotion is trying to help them understand.” 

Affirmation: I will listen.

Coaching questions: If you’re the “friend” who is struggling, ask yourself, “What do I need?” Or, “What is a way forward?”

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash