Fourth in our series of “Don’ts” is the Hider – this is the Listener who diminishes what they heard. Recently, my husband got a sudden, mysterious rash. It covered his arms and his shins, and itched. I did my best not to tell him it wasn’t so bad. If I had said, “At least it is limited to those places. I had a rash over my whole body, for months! You can handle this little one” he wouldn’t have itched any less. He wouldn’t have felt better for that. In fact, he may have resented me for not understanding his discomfort. Truly, he did eventually need medical attention, not minimization. Sweeping that misery of his rash under the rug would have shut him down and kept him quiet, but it wouldn’t have made him feel better, nor been good for our relationship. It doesn’t matter how bad someone else has it, when you hurt, that’s real. Deb’s family lore was “It’ll feel better when it quits hurting.” While true, it does nothing to soothe the fact of “OW.” Let whatever pain is being experienced simply *be*.
Besides, sweeping things under the rug really isn’t good housekeeping!
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