Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finding the Words

I diffuse situations with humor. Not all situations, but a lot of them.

I sometimes have a hard time finding the words. Great, right? This from the person studying to be a counselor. Here's the thing though, I can find the words for strangers or for people I don't know all that well. Finding the words for friends is harder for me. It's almost impossible sometimes.

I have a friend who is hurting. She is struggling. She is having a hard time getting back to work. She desperately misses her kids. She wants to be home with them more than anything. Her pain is palpable.

I have no idea what to say to her. I offer her my shoulder. I offer her my "condolences." I offer her whatever compassion and friendship I can. She is miles away. My words, because they come in the "written" form hold so much more weight for me. I feel they should be perfect. I feel they should carry with them relief and love and kindness.

I think they carry bits and pieces of those things. But I do not think they are perfect. I do not think they convey how much hurt I feel for her. I do not think they hold the weight I want them to hold.

Why?

This is not the first time or the only time I have felt that my words do not carry the magnitude that they are meant to carry.

I don't know how to present my words so that they convey what I want them to. I don't always know what to say. I know that sometimes that is ok. But I still feel like I need to be able to come up with the right words. Come up with the words that will help. Come up with the words that will comfort.

How do I do that?

How do you come up with the words?

11 comments:

The Craft Family said...

Maybe we have trouble finding words equivlent to our emotions because of just that....words are words and emotions are emotions and the best we can do is to make do, not be perfect. Maybe "perfect" is simply letting someone know we care about them and want to help them. Then, maybe once we've opened that door and hung a welcome sign, we just have to wait for that person to take the next step. Maybe that's the road block you are running into. I know it's difficult, I'm the same way, but once in a while we have to just let things happen naturally? The important thing is that you care and you've told your friend so and she knows you're there for her.

The Broken Man said...

I'm like you - I cover everything with humour (usually very dark humour that upsets people who don't know me) so I haven't got any advice I'm afraid. I think the last comment says it all really - maybe actually saying that you don't have the right words, but really want to be there for her would help.

The Broken Man

Nina said...

Sometimes just listening can mean the world to a friend.

It is funny as you talk about your friend because I took 4 months of maternity leave and I have hated my job ever since I returned because I just want to be home with my kids but I can't so I vent to my friends and they are great listeners and that means the world to me.

LunaNik said...

Somehow, in situations like those, my words just come. It's weird actually. But, sometimes, my condolences end up sounding more like hallmark cards than real, honest words. I tend to be too wordy and too "flowery" if you will...makes me sound like a weirdo or something.

Alison said...

I am just like you...it is much easier to write than talk...

Caffeine Court said...

Don't think too much about it. Just reach out to her, and be there to listen when she needs you.

Let it flow naturally, you are a compassionate person, and I'm sure anything you say will be helpful.

Unfortunately, nothing anyone can say will take away her hurt right now. It will take time for her to get used to being away from her family.

Helen E.M. Wright said...

Don't worry about the words. Just be there.

Being away from all family and friends is really hard. When something happens back home it's horrible. The best thing I have found is to use my humour in short bursts along with some I'm there for yous or thinking about you.

Immoral Matriarch said...

Sometimes there are no words. Sometimes your shoulder and your ear is enough.

ConverseMomma said...

Oh good lord. I'm crying so hard right now. I don't know if this was for me, or for another friend that is in the same place, but either way I am just so thankful for you. I am just so damn thankful. I feel so lost right now and I don't know what to do with myself. I came here because I feel like I have been a terrible friend, person, mother. I just wanted to reconnect a little, and there you are, so loving, so kind, so real, so good.

Thank you for being you.

Bunchy said...

I have learned in the last couple of days that sometimes, there simply are no words. (Read my latest post for more info.) But to just have you thinking about her, and there to listen. Seriously...it means everything.

Laski Gal said...

You are an amazing friend . . .

"This is not the first time or the only time I have felt that my words do not carry the magnitude that they are meant to carry."

I think you underestimate yourself . . .

 
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