In some moments, on some days, someone feels hurt, sad, angry, frustrated, discouraged, worried or anxious. It might be you, your children, your spouse, your friend, your neighbor or a coworker. That’s a probability. Also, true is that caring and kind words can help calm troubled emotional states.
When and if you notice someone out of sorts, gently smile and ask, “How are you feeling?” and listen.
When appropriate deliver the best-fit comforting and kinds words. Here is a list for those tender moments.
Love and care:
- No matter what, I care.
- You matter to me.
- I see the pain in your eyes and I hear the distress in your voice.
- I love you.
- I miss you.
- I have been thinking about you. How are you really?
- You are not what you did. You are always lovable, resilient and capable.
- I feel sorry. What can I do to make amends?
- I apologize. I acted inappropriately.
- I hope you will forgive me but I know that is your decision.
- My intention was not to hurt you. I wanted to . . .
Be a calm presence:
- I am here. I am with you. I am listening. Tell me more.
- It’s OK to cry. Better to cry on the outside than drown on the inside.
- All feelings are valid. I will listen to them all.
- It sounds like you feel (sad, hurt, scared, anxious, helpful, frustrated, angry) about . . .
Offer to problem solve:
- How can I help?
- Do you want me to primarily listen or do you want suggestions, or both?
- What and who is the biggest problem in this situation?
- If circumstances were better, what do you really want to do?
- Which option makes the most sense to you?
- How may I help make this happen for you?
Acknowledge (affirm reality):
- I imagine you feel disappointed that you were turned down.
- Receiving repeated complaints is de-motivating. I, too, feel discouraged when I’m given too many grumbles, especially after I’ve done my best.
- I noticed how diligently and focused you’ve worked on this.
- I have seen you do hard things before.
- I know you are capable of this.
- It’s ok to take your time. It’s OK to ask for help.
- You learned how to do that. Congratulations!
- Please make mistakes and learn from them. We like learning here.
- You demonstrate great potential for (any skill or talent).
- You are on the right track.
- You’re getting there.
- I enjoy working with you.
- Thank you. You made my day easier.
- Thank you. You brought love to my day.
- Thank you. You brought joy to my day.
- Thank you. You gave me a good laugh.
- Thank you. Your help was just what I needed.
- Thank you for noticing. (to a compliment)
- I appreciate your (dedication, leadership, care, patience . . . )
- Thank you for completing the task so thoroughly.
- Thank you. The world is a better place because of your contribution.
What are your favorite kind words to say or hear? Please share how someone expressed care to you, one tender moment. OK?
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Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.242.7796 or email a request.
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