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Talking to Crazy by Mark Goulston

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chapter 26

“What’s the Worst Thing for You?”

Being There for a Parent, Partner, or Child in Pain

Frequently, we try to play Pollyanna when our loved ones are upset. We say things like, “It’ll be fine,” or, “You’re luckier than most people,” or, “Think of all the good things in your life.”

Sometimes that’s okay. But often, it doesn’t make people feel better. Instead, it makes them feel unheard. That’s because instead of acknowledging their pain, we’re ignoring or trivializing it. And this can transform people from slightly crazy into really crazy.

So rather than glossing over the pain of people who are feeling highly emotional or afraid or hopeless, your best approach may be to head straight for it. Rather than trying to get these people to ...

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