Saturday, 26 January 2013

You don't need to have other people's problems for them: Implicit emotional support works better

They may not realise it, but sometimes it seems like many Irish people cannot help but (try to) solve other people's problems - and can't understand why other people aren't grateful:

  • I shiver because I remember something horrible that I heard on the news - they run to turn the heating up.
  • I say we're not going on holiday this Christmas 'cos we had to go to a funeral - they spend an hour on the internet researching holiday options (most of which I've looked at and rejected already), and start angling to find out who died so they can get a Mass card (ahh, thanks, but the father-in-law didn't actually believe in God).
  • I comment that I'm thinking about looking for a new job, they tell me about all the unemployed people they know and why I should be happy to stay where I am. Or I say I'm unemployed, and they tell me about their uncle who's looking for a girl for his reception desk (yup, but I'm a qualified accountant).

Here's a bit of reading that 'd like to share around. It's a bit jargony, and all about work. But basically it's saying that other people will find it more helpful if you tone things down, and assume that they can assume their own problems. Good advice, IMHO.  You cannot do other people's praying or worrying for them.

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