Ineffective Ways to Support a Grieving Loved One

Nothing is worst than kicking a person when they are already down. If you’re grieving loved one is in distress, these tips will tell you what NOT to do.

Most of us want to support our grieving loved ones when they face a crisis, but sometimes we simply don’t know how.

Maybe we don’t have the skill…

Maybe we are also grieving…

Maybe what we need when we grieve is different from what our loved one needs and we are projecting our needs on them…

Whatever the case, responding with hurtful commentary can exacerbate your loved one’s grief, making whatever situation that they were facing worst after interacting with you.

Here are some examples of bad ways to support a grieving loved one:

  1. Minimizing their grief: One of the worst things you can do is to minimize or dismiss your loved one’s grief. Saying things like “time heals all wounds” or “at least they’re in a better place” can make your loved one feel like their grief is not important or valid.
  2. Comparing their grief to others: It’s also not helpful to compare your loved one’s grief to others. Everyone experiences grief differently, and comparing their experience to someone else’s can make them feel like they’re not grieving “correctly.”
  3. Telling them how to feel: Avoid telling your loved one how they should feel or what they should do. Instead, offer support and validation for their emotions and allow them to grieve in their own way.
  4. Avoiding them: It’s common to feel uncomfortable around someone who is grieving, but avoiding your loved one can make them feel even more isolated and alone. Instead, reach out to them and let them know that you’re there for them.
  5. Offering unsolicited advice: While it’s important to offer support, it’s not helpful to offer unsolicited advice. Instead, listen to your loved one and let them guide the conversation. If they ask for advice, offer it in a respectful and non-judgmental way.

Overall, supporting a grieving loved one can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that your role is to offer comfort, support, and validation for their emotions. It’s okay to not have all the answers, and simply being there for them can be incredibly helpful.