We have all been in that place where something awful happens to someone and we are petrified of saying the wrong thing or not sure how to help. It is usually not a matter of if we are in a situation like this but when. A crisis of some kind will unfortunately happen to us and everyone around us at some point in our lives. It can be so hard to know what to do that we can become paralysed by fear and not do anything.
This is where the book ‘There Is No Good Card For This: What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful and Unfair to People You Love’ comes in to save us.
“If you’re choosing between saying something and saying nothing, you’re almost always better off saying something”.
This is a great book helpful for:
- how to support the people in your life who are going through tough times
- the people around you who are providing you support
- for you to ask for the support you might need
- how to deal with people who are intimidated by what you are going through
- for you to help other people – once we go through an experience, people come out of the woodwork to talk to us about a similar experience that they have had too!
There are so many fantastic examples and suggestions for how to approach a situation if you are ever worried about saying or doing the wrong or awkward thing.
Another reason why this book is an ideal recommendation is that it is written and illustrated by two women who have been through this experience themselves – both as the recipient and the giver of support during a crisis. Emily McDowell and Kelsey Crowe do a wonderful job of making a difficult situation straightforward and with easy to remember touchstone points.
Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we all become self conscious on how to support people – we have forgotten our intuitive ways to comfort someone, we have over-analysed what to say or do, and thought it to be much more complex than it really is. The two main things that get in our way of reaching out and having genuine connection with people is that we are holding onto guilt about how we have let others down and resentment about being let down by others on previous occasions. When the opportunity arises to support someone, we learn to have some compassion for ourselves, and now that we know better, we can do better. It becomes a moment where we have to remember that we didn’t have the knowledge what we do now.
“Sometimes, we only need to know people are thinking about us and don’t need to always talk about what we are feeling.”
Supporting people doesn’t have to be complicated or an ongoing obligation – most of the time it is the simplest things that matter and bring comfort – kindness, empathy and most importantly, listening.
“Tiny pebbles make wide ripples”.
Take good care, Readers. I’ll keep the light on.
Growing Up Disabled in Australia is a diverse anthology of the very best kind!
Let me introduce you to the beautiful human that is Charlie Mackesy and his incredibly empathetic book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse. If there was ever a time when we needed Charlie Mackesy’s drawings, it would be over the last year.
Matt Haig is a brilliant writer and human being who is constantly investigating and questioning the effect of modern life on our mental health. He is a huge advocate for mental health wellness, and has shared his experiences through his multiple fiction works and his non-fiction books.