Things To Not Say…

Someone may be experiencing a loss, burnout, anxiety, depression, consistent stress. And when someone expresses his/her heart, issue or struggle, offer compassion and a listening ear. (If saved) Let the Holy Spirit lead you from there.

But do not say these things:

Just pray about it.

Stop saying that.

Everyone has anxiety.

Be strong.

These statements can sound dismissive. They can sound insensitive. How do you know the person isn’t praying and that fight to get out of the bed or talking with someone was the answer to their prayers. Yes, sometimes a person saying things out of habit or unloading on another can be frustrating or even overwhelming. When it is too much, you have the right to protect your boundaries and your own mental health. However, don’t leave your compassion to the wayside.

Don’t tell someone “everyone has anxiety or depression right now”. You took the focus off of the person needing someone to listen and put the focus on everyone. It seems dismissive and one can be left feeling that they should have never said anything. Even moreso, one can feel like what he/she feels doesn’t matter or isn’t of concern. “If everyone else is dealing with this why I am complaining. Just deal with it.”

“Be strong.” As if expressing yourself and struggling is a sign of weakness. And one must learn to process everything they feel instead of ignoring it.

In any event, let us show compassion. Not every time someone needs advice but if you must, use wisdom, preferably Godly wisdom. And most importantly, listen. Sometimes, people just want to be heard and some of us are doing the work to overcome. We just need perhaps a hug (upon permission), a prayer or encouragement, patience, or just to be seen and heard.