Impatience from others


I have had a number of clients complain to me that their family members just don’t get how they can still be grieving and crying for a dead loved one or other loss months after the loss. The family members often say hurtful things to them like, “you need to grow up and stop being a baby” or “let go of it already!” Some presume to know what the dead person “would have wanted” and it doesn’t include showing grief and sadness over their loss. I know that these responses can be hard to hear for a person who is still suffering from the loss. However, it often helps to consider that everyone has their own way of handling loss and some people are very uncomfortable with the painful feelings that go along with it, in themselves and in other people. I often advise people to tell those who are criticizing or judging them for showing grief, “I understand you’re uncomfortable with how I handle my grief, but I would appreciate it if you would stop saying hurtful things to me. I am doing the best I can, just like you are, and your comments are not helping me get over the grief any quicker. If you can’t be supportive, please just let me know and I will talk to someone else about it.” That way you are not lashing back at the person in anger, but you are setting appropriate limits with them so they don’t hurt you further.

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