What to Say to Someone Who is
Getting Through or Is in a Crappy Situation
In the last several months, after having gone through a pretty f*d up crappy situation, people have told me to suck it up, move on, forget about it, my mindset is the issue, I created that situation, I am responsible for the results I am producing, and on and on.
I bet you have your version of it too.
Yesterday, I was really down in the dumps, revisiting one event in the crappy mess.
I don’t know why I was revisiting it… but I do know that shutting it down or out by getting busy, doing something else, avoiding it… was not helping. I needed to be silent and allow the thoughts and feelings to come forth, unfiltered, unedited… and allow them to simply be. I chose to not call anyone and just be quiet.
And this is what I realized…
While I agree there is merit in not sitting in your crappy story forever, or for what seems like an eternity…
There is merit and value to:
- Allow yourself time to process all of it, and if that requires sitting in your crap for however long you need to, then so be it.
- Not making yourself accountable for the situation, people involved, and the outcome.
- Giving yourself permission to process the trauma, however, feels best for you.
- Saying No to everyone who wants to fix it or solve it or want you to get on with it.
- Giving yourself a time limit… you can add more time if you need it… but this gives you a target… a deadline and goal. This one is important so that you don’t get stuck in the crap forever. I know you don’t want to stay there forever… and yet the crap is processing in your head, heart, and body… each time in a different way… So, if the crap shows up again, give yourself another ‘shorter than the last one’ time limit. Put a timer, reminder, or something to trigger you out of it.
You have people in your life who love you. They just don’t know what to do or say to you… and chances are they are not equipped with the superhuman people skills that healthy people pleasers have… they don’t know how to be compassionate, kind, caring, or show authentic empathy.
And it is easy to think ‘why can’t they be supportive… or be kind… show compassion?’
But that is not helpful when you are in the throes of a crappy situation.
I invite you to ask them to say this instead of whatever they are saying or have said:
I appreciate you are trying to help me feel better and I appreciate it. Here are some ways you can be even more supportive.
Then, give them 1 to 3 things that would be helpful to you… that you know they can provide. I bet you know them better than they know you… because we have observed them and their skills for some time.
Now is the time for you to ask them to use their strengths and skills to help you through this. And… maybe it is just asking them to give you time and space.