7 Things Those With Fibromyalgia DO Want To Hear
#3 “It must be hard to be sick and in pain all the time,” or “It must be frustrating to have to limit your activities so much.”
These comments are examples of “active listening,” a child raising technique I learned when my two kids were young. The idea is to let your kids know you’ve really heard their concerns by feeding back to them, in your own words, what they’ve said.
For example, if your daughter is afraid of the dark, instead of trying to talk her out of how she’s feeling by saying, “There’s no reason to be afraid of the dark,” you feed back her feelings to her by saying, “The dark is scary to you.” When you actively listen in this way, children feel heard and validated. This makes it easier for them to overcome a fearbecause they know you’re taking their concern seriously and that you’re trying to understand it from their point of view. We who are chronically ill want to feel heard and validated—everyone does!
To “active listen,” put yourself in another’s shoes and think about how you’d feel if you were in his or her situation. Then feed those feelings back by saying, for example, “You must feel sad that you can’t work anymore.” Nothing feels as good as knowing you’re trying to understand how we’re feeling.
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