Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sometimes there are no words necessary - repost from 6/29/2011

Words, words, words.....
sometimes there are no words necessary.

Did you know that? Think about it. Think about the times when someone you know is struggling, maybe you barely noticed, because in the scheme of things, what they are struggling with seemed small and insignificant. There are bigger things. You know this. But today, for that person, whatever they are struggling with is weighs on them.

They don't need you to fix everything. They don't need to hear that they'll be better, stronger, smarter...pick your adjective for their struggle. Think of all the cliche sayings that people offer up. Time heals all wounds. Tough times make you stronger. You'd do better if you would try harder....

In your life when have any of those things actually made you feel better, feel understood, feel loved, feel less sad, feel less overwhelmed....did they when you were young? Do they now?

How many of you know a teenager or were one? Raise your hand. How many of you adults see a teenager everyday? What is the message you are offering them? Are you selling them on the idea that they are extraordinary or is the mantra that they should try harder, be more grown up, that they have it easy?

Are you a teacher, a coach, an adult in the school system? How many hours of the week do those teenagers spend time in your presence? You are probably seeing these kids more than their families are. Do you make them feel smarter? Do you show them respect or only demand it from them? Do you ask them to be organized? Do you teach them what "organized" looks like? Do you listen as well as talk?

There is a lot of talk these days about anti-hate, anti-bullying--about what not to do.
Are we teaching How to be compassionate?...What being a good friend looks like? Do we teach them to look for people's stories...the things no one talks about? To think that there is much more to people than what is showing on the outside? 

What do you assume? It is a good rule--to never assume anything. What it looks like may not be all there is...maybe if you knew the whole story you would view them differently.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou

With teens you really need to listen to hear their stories, you have to be willing to be patient, you need to think about what they are offering when they tell you things....if you want them to share, you have to be aware that how you respond makes a difference in whether they will come to you again.

They don't need you to fix everything. They need you to hear where they are....we all do. We all want someone in our lives "to want to". We want you to want to help/listen/care ---name whatever it is that you need NOW. Whether it is as simple as getting the milk from the fridge, making cookies, doing something for me that I say feels too only have to convey that you want to.

Maybe you are talking to a friend that is 100s of miles away and she is having a horrible day, month, year---maybe the thing that has tipped her scale is that she just wants someone to get her 2 eggs so she can finish the cake she is baking and no one is there to help.....
Would she feel better if you say-I can't help you--you'll just have to go to the store 
or if you say--I'll be right over with whatever you need....the latter would probably make her smile, feel loved, feel supported from miles away.

And sometimes there are no words----
you just have to listen. Hear the sadness, hear the struggle and let them know that it's okay to be where they are. It is enough to listen and show compassion for the difficulty today. If they talk, maybe that is all they need, just a friendly place to say how they feel which is often very different from what they know to be...

Sometimes there are no words necessary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you - we don't communicate anymore. We text, email, facebook, But we don't talk -really talk with people. So lets get back to talking not facebooks and texting. A real voice can tell a lot on whats on someone's mind.