My thoughts about Mental Health, Virginia Pillars

Bad days happen


Yesterday, a post on UpJourney published. What to say when someone is having a bad day.

I am always grateful when my thoughts get included in articles designed to help. Here’s my submission to the article:

When someone is having a bad day, it’s important to acknowledge the feeling they are having

First, mention that they don’t seem like themself. Then, listen. And listen some more as you pay attention to what they tell you. It’s helpful to repeat what they said so they know you heard what they said. This validates them and they know you really heard them.

Acknowledge their feelings by saying, “I’m sorry things feel hard right now,” or “That must feel scary or whatever emotion they shared.”

Encourage them to talk about it with someone they trust

If you have established trust with them, it may help them if you affirm you want to help them. “I’m here for you,” or “I’ll listen if you want to talk,” gives them permission to name the reason they are having a bad day. The person may not want advice, so don’t offer it unless they ask for it. Questions can help them sort things out as they talk. Some examples are:

  • “Has this happened to you in the past?”
  • “Did anything help you handle it then?”
  • “Is there something I can do to help you?”

If each answer is negative, follow up with, “I’m here for you,” or “I’m here to listen if you want to talk about it.” Sometimes, people just need someone to care about them and listen without trying to fix their emotions.

Virginia Pillars

If you’d like to read the entire article:

What to do when you know a friend is having a bad day.

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