Just letting someone know that you are there for them by holding a safe and sacred space for them is, sometimes, all that they need. This is called silent presence. However, this can be difficult for many of us. We, typically, don't like silence. Just think about when you had your last conversation with someone. Whenever there is a pause in the conversation, someone starts to feel a bit anxious and 'has to' say something. The void feels like it has to be filled. So we fix this by speaking to avoid that space. When you fill in this space by giving advice or making comments, you take away "their" moment to feel the emotions and to heal. Instead, they move out of their body, their feeling and emotions, to hear and think what you are saying. It is a form of distraction and avoidance.
There is a time and place to distract or avoid, but when someone is grieving or sifting through confusing emotions that arise from the memories of a traumatic event, it is, sometimes, best just to listen and give them your silent presence. Remember, it is about them; it is not about you and your anxiousness or uncomfortable feelings in this moment.
In the end, when someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.
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