Our Words and Actions

Last month, I talked about our words and the difference they can make when talking with the bereaved. This month, I would like to go even further.

What do you say or not say when someone is hurting inside and afraid or unsure about asking for help? Would you listen or would you say what you think they should hear? What action would you take? Sometimes our actions speak louder than words.

To “spill your guts” to someone takes a lot of trust and faith in that person that they will not think less of you, ignore you, or give you advice that you did not ask for, but rather just listen.

Just having someone who cares enough about you to listen and not judge you can make a big difference in your recovery and your trust level. Many times, words can get in the way when having a hug, a shoulder to cry on, no advice (unless asked for), and someone to care about you just listening to you at this very fragile time means more than anything anyone could say.

What if someone is ill and asks to speak to the clergy, but the clergy is too busy or on a short schedule and feels they don’t have the time to talk to anyone? Fortunately, most clergy would take the time to talk to someone, but there are also some who would not.

Our words and our actions matter and can help or hurt the person asking for help. If our words or actions communicate to them, that we are too busy to listen or to take some unplanned time to help them we could be making matters worse and could make them feel that they don’t matter.

If someone cares about you and wants to be around you in the “good times” as well as the difficult times and is willing to listen and be there for you, then perhaps this is the person to trust with your inner turmoil and pain and know you will be listened to and not judged or ignored.

If you were to go to a therapist, finding the right therapist is very important to get the help you may need.

So, what can you do and who can you trust with your inner sadness?

Trust your “gut” to know who you should talk with. You know who has helped you in the past and listened to you and who has not. You know who is a casual friend and who is someone you can trust, someone who will not judge, ignore, or expect you to work this out on your own.

Remember that a good rule is to think before you speak and listen as often as you can. Also, if it were you in this situation, what would you want someone to do or say to you or not do or say to you? You really never know when you will be called upon to help. What will your action be? What will your words be?

Blessings to all who read this and who take the time to listen and truly care about someone.

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