Thanks to Eric for this sheet (attached). Below is the content of the sheet:
- “Has this happened before?”
- “How long has this been happening…?”
Tell a story to make them feel ridiculous in having their problem.
- “That’s nothing, one time I…”
Feed the Fire
Agree with them. Get them all wound up about their problem.
- “Yeah, they are totally… Yeah, that’s totally…”
Tell them your great idea about how to solve their problem.
- “You know what you should do is…”
“I remember once when I…”
Don’t Feel/Shutting Down
Negate the way they are feeling.
- “Oh don’t feel so ______.”
- “It can’t be that bad.”
- “You’re really making this much worse than it really is.”
- “I believe in you!”
- “I know you’ll get through this.”
- “Yes, you do what is right for you!”
- “I totally know how you feel.”
- “I feel really awful for you.”
- “You know what I think your problem is, is that you are too…”
Tell the person what to do
- “Well, don’t just sit there complaining about it, go…”
Persuading with logic, or lecturing
- “You know, thinking that way can be really bad for your health.”
Make a joke out of what they are saying. Somehow find a way to avoid their feelings.
- “Well, that’s life. What’s for lunch.”
Correcting the Story
- “That’s not what I heard…”
- “So-and-so told me that you…”
- “Poor you. That’s so awful.”
Non Empathy Responses.pdf