If someone was to find out that a friend or a family member was going through a challenging time, they could end up reaching out to them. This could be a time when they will ask them about what has been going on.
The other person could tell them that their partner is not treating them very well or that they have just broken up with them. Then again, one could say that they are not being treated well at work or that they have lost their job.
After one has been told this, they could offer them positive encouragement and tell them that they are there for them. If they are in an abusive relationship or are not being treated well at work, one could tell them that they don’t have to put up with this type of behaviour.
Additionally, one could say that they need to stand their ground and that if this doesn’t change, they need to walk away. The other person is then not going to be left in the dark as to what ones thoughts are in regards to what they are going through.
This Will Pass
On the other hand, if one has just broken up with their partner or lost their job, one could make it clear that this is just a stage. Therefore, regardless of how challenging their life may seem, it won’t stay this way forever.
One will then validate what they are going through but one won’t get too pulled into what they are currently experiencing. The other person could appreciate that one is able to maintain a level head and not add even more energy to what they are going through.
A Big Help
Naturally, if another person was going through a tough time and one was to treat them like a powerless child, it probably wouldn’t do much good. This person wouldn’t be at their best and they would receive messages that would basically tell them that they are incapable of handling what is going on.
So, by one offering their support and encouragement, there will be no need for the other person to form an identity around the experience they are currently having. The message will be something like – I’m here for you and you have what is takes to move through this.
Also, if one was to have a friend or a family member who continually ends up in relationships with people who are abusive or dysfunctional, for instance, they could encourage this person to look into what part they are playing in what is taking place. This is not to say that they will tell this person that they created this and come across as cold.
In a very gentle way, they could shed light on the fact that they are the person who keeps showing up – the common denominator. Thus, while they are probably not consciously choosing to experience life in this way, there is something going on at a deeper level that is shaping their life.
A Conscious Life
If one was to do this, their friend or family member could end up getting defensive at first. One may even be accused of ‘victim blaming’, that’s if this person is very much plugged into mainstream culture.
However, if the other person is able to stay present and to actually hear what one is saying, they will be able to accept that one is not blaming them. They will be able to see that one is simply encouraging them to become aware of how their life is not random and that, what is taking place in both their conscious and unconscious mind, is influencing how they experience life.
The Current Paradigm
One of the reasons why their friend or family member would find it hard to accept this can be due to the conditioning that they have received from mainstream society. From practically the moment they were born, they may have been told, directly and indirectly, that they are a victim and that things just happen.
There will be some things that they are told they have control over, but there will be plenty of things that they are told our out of their hands. This view disempowers people and makes it a lot easier to control them.
Now, although this is how some people will respond, if a friend or a family member is going through a tough time, there will be others that don’t. For someone like this, they will primarily offer sympathy, not empathy.
Therefore, when a friend or a family member is going through a tough time, they could get sucked into what is going on and make out that they are just unlucky. It won’t matter if what this person is going through is a one-off or a regular occurrence, as their response will be the same.
A Destructive Effect
Saying something like this might make their friend or family member feel better for a short while, but it might not do much else. If a friend or a family member continually ends up in abusive or dysfunctional relationships, for instance, it could mean that they will have many more years of this.
Without realising it, they will be telling this person that their life just happens to be this way and there is absolutely nothing that they can do. This person will just be an observer of their life, playing no part in how they experience it.
Telling someone that they are unlucky or unfortunate can seem innocuous, but it can end up holding them back. Saying this can be so normal that one doesn’t even think about what they are saying.
What they may find, if they were to take a deeper look into why they say this, is that they believe that they are merely an observer of their life. If this is so, what they say to others will change when their outlook changes.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.