“My Grandpa passed away last week.”

“Oh, I am so sorry, what happened?”

“He had lung cancer.”

“Oh really! O my god, this is shocking! But he never smoked! Didn’t he always workout, had a healthy diet and was so sporty…How come!!!”

A Guide for Dummies: How to Care When They Are in a Low Phase

While mental health is still underestimated in our country, people still go through what life brings in for them. Whether it is about the death of a close person or losing a job or a break-up, we’ve been in all those situations and also on the other side of it. It is not enough to be concerned.

  1. Frame Your Question Before Asking: When someone tells you ‘I just lost my job due to demonetization’ if it is sudden, it obviously too much to take. But take a deep breath and think before you respond. Do not ask pointed questions, straight out of your mind. Don’t say one of these things:
  • “Oh. Sad! So what’s next?” If they just lost their job or quit, there are higher chances that they don’t know what’s next.
  • “I’m so sorry but overall demonetization has helped the country so much!” Nationalistic shit doesn’t help at this point.
  •  “What will happen now? Will you get the next job?” What choice does one have? One has to get a job or do something.
  • “Will your girl/boyfriend break up with you now?” No, they won’t. If they do, they don’t deserve me.
  • “Ah… it’s too easy to get a job these days.” No, it isn’t.

awkward

There is only one safest kind of response apart from a warm hug:

“Hmmm. I am shocked/surprised/sad to heard that. Nevertheless, I saw this coming (if at all you did). You are a bright chap, I am sure this is for the betterment. We’ll all see your brilliance in the future.”

You can measure and change words according to what better suits them individually. But whatever means to say that you have faith in them, their talent and/or skillset. Let them know that you are patient enough to give them time for a comeback.

2. Give Sympathy but just like Salt (as per taste): For people with high self-esteem, any kind of sympathy just harms. Sympathy is for losers. It makes you feel like you have failed, you have wasted your time. It makes you regret. Too much of special treatment is also hurting (especially if you plan to pay for them or buy them things).

And for the people seeking attention, giving too much sympathy will eventually harm you because you’ll become the perennial crying shoulder. This doesn’t help them or your friendship. They can be a little moody or miserable, and rightfully so. Very gracefully, take a step back and let them be.

3. Don’t Give the ‘Hindsight Gyaan’: Don’t tell them what they should have done better and how you always knew this wouldn’t work out. If anything, it is only a self-gratifying experience for you. It won’t help the other person. It will rather make them more miserable. Regret makes one suffer twice.

4. Don’t bring it up as and when you like: Time goes slow for people going through depression or even a mere bad phase. You might feel it has been 15 days, now let me ask.

How do you feel about it?” This can be the most difficult question to answer without tearing up. “Umm. My sister just died..but let me tell you…I feel like really okay about it. Okay? Happy?”

It is always too early to ask. Wait until they bring it up. If they don’t bring it up, it might mean that they don’t wish to talk about it (with you) or they don’t have an answer yet. It is rather demotivating to ask them to ‘take any job that comes your way’. Don’t seek closure at their expense.

5. Don’t take them for granted: When they lose their job or they are on a break, it doesn’t mean you make them feel that they are good for nothing by already making plans for them. “Oh. I thought you’ll obviously come for shopping with me because you are…Free..” They might be free but you still need to seek their time because that’s just basic courtesy. Also, it’s indecent to either make a broke person spend too much or to constantly pay for them everywhere (because it underlines the fact that a favour is being made).

6. Let Them Embrace Failure: Especially in India, failing is a bigger taboo than not trying. You need to appreciate the effort that one puts into doing something and the joy that they derive out of learning. In countries like the USA, embracing failure is actually a thing.

The one who fails is a person to look up to, primarily because there’s so much to learn from them. We need to bring this culture in India too, and let our people feel that it’s only natural to fail.

failure


In the end, it is all about showing that you care, instead of just saying that you care. If you liked this post, Like/Comment and tell me about what you think. Also, FOLLOW my blog and get such stuff and more.

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One thought on “The Other Angle: “How To Care”

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