Sympathy Support: Just Listen to Support Your Grieving Friend
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Just listen to your friend. But it’s actually a lot more difficult than you think. Listening involves devoting your full attention to what someone else is saying without talking. It’s natural for us to hear what someone is saying and then want to interject our own thoughts or opinions. This is not what your friend needs.
Your friend just wants to feel listened to. She’ll feel more comfortable opening up to you if she feels like you won’t judge her or offer your own advice. Allow her to share her thoughts and feelings with you while resisting the urge to offer her your opinions or advice.
But what if listening to your friend leaves you feeling uncomfortable? Empathizing with a friends grief can be difficult and might bring to surface your own fears. If you find yourself overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a step back. There are other ways you can help too.
Source: Angela Morrow www.dying.about.com