Things you Shouldn’t say to a Trauma Survivor

In each of our lifetimes, there is bound to be some form of trauma experienced by our friends and loved ones or perhaps ourselves. It may be difficult to know just what to say or do to provide some comfort to others at those times. Everyone needs something different, because we are individuals and will respond to and process life . There are some basic similarities in the responses we provide to others with the best of intentions.

Seeing others in pain, triggers our own natural desire to eliminate the discomfort. Unfortunately, in the midst of showing empathy and compassion, we feel compelled to say something. However, sometimes, the words we speak can be unhelpful and worsen matters. They can send the wrong message to survivors of trauma.This post from “Don’t Lose Hope” details many of those unhelpful responses.

Don't Lose Hope

Many people cannot cope with another person’s pain. They do not want to know, and they cannot stand to hear. As a consequence of this, they will try to shut you down, and often they will do this by spouting platitudes. Pointless, empty words that can make you feel alone.

Examples include the following:

“Just let it go.”

“Are you over it yet?”

“Try to focus on the positives.”

“It’s going to be OK …”

“You still have so much to be thankful for.”

“At least you can be grateful that …”

“Fake it till you make.”

“I know how you feel.”

“Let me tell you what happened to me …”

“At least it’s not bad as what happened to X.”

“One day you’ll look back, and be grateful that it happened.”

“It will all work out for the best in the end.”

These cruel and thoughtless comments weave a…

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