Be a wit­ness, not a prob­lem-solver

First For Women - - Insight -

If a pal starts grip­ing and you feel a bit ir­ri­ta­ble, just lis­ten and re­flect back what you hear. “You’re not com­ing up with so­lu­tions, but say­ing things like, ‘Oh no!’ or ‘What a drag!’” says Gil­bert­son. Em­pathiz­ing in this way, with “com­pas­sion­ate dis­tance” helps oth­ers and pre­vents burnout. “Your friend is look­ing for some­one to see—not fix—her prob­lem, to be a kind wit­ness to her pain. Just be­ing there is enough.”

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