It happens all the time. Something has us stressed, upset, or worried and we search for comfort. But what we really need is someone to listen; someone to give us their full attention as we share our fears and concerns. We’re not looking for advice, we’re looking for understanding. And we each have the power to give this all important gift – our time and attention.
It’s hard to ask for support but we can’t expect our friends and loved ones to be mind readers and intuitively understand our needs. This message was in my mail this morning: “I want to write to my one close friend as I need comfort from that friend. Could you please tell me how to write a letter to him on this topic?” Here's what I suggested:
This past month has been really difficult and I’ve been trying to resolve some problems on my own. But I’m not faring well and the issues have me tense and worried. I really could use a good listener and wonder if you would do that for me. We could make a date for dinner or a visit at my home. I’ll make myself available at a time that is convenient for you. You are such a good friend and I need your friendship now.
Thanks for being there for me.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now available in three individual volumes: "Illness & Death," "Suicide" and "Miscarriage." Additional titles are available as e-books: "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store. Click here to order.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons / striatic