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How to Be Brave

Be Strong for Others

Maybe your neighbor gets a bad diagnosis, your husband loses his job, or your kid flunks pre-calc—again. Now it's your turn to help someone else be brave. Remember these simple-but-important basics.

  • Don't minimize. If you say or imply, "It's not that big a deal," you've added insult to injury. Instead, say, "I'm so sorry," or "This must be so hard for you."
  • Don't make it about you. Hold off on the story about how you faced the same thing, only worse, or how helpless you feel to make things better. You don't want the other person to feel she has to comfort you.
  • Do tell the emotional truth. Speak from the place in your gut where you really feel for the person. Your sincerity means more than the exact words.

Originally published in Family Circle magazine, August 2007.

 

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