Facing any kind of traumatic event shatters a person to the core. Their life becomes upside down, and every aspect of their life messes up. It takes a long time for a person to return to normal and lead a peaceful life again. Now it is equally difficult for people around the person to rationalize how to act and provide support to them. The most important thing to do is to never say anything that worsens their condition.
Here are the top 15 things to never say to someone with trauma:
1. You should move on now.
No one can decide the right time for a person to move on. If it had been in his control, he must have done it long before and not dragged himself like this through the pain. Offer support, but not like you’re accusing them of holding on to problems.
2. You’re a buzz kill.
Don’t lose your cool around people who need your support. Praise them for trying to be back but never show hastiness and force them to enjoy themselves if they don’t want to. It just triggers the trauma and pushes them a little more into anxiety.
3. It could’ve been worse.
Don’t measure someone’s pain for them. They are already suffering a lot, and you reminding them of the worst will never in any way help them get out of the trauma. What has happened to them is the worst for them, and they don’t want to listen to what could have been.
4. This happened to me too.
Do not ever compare someone’s experience to anyone else’s or yours. It was they who faced it, so only they know how it feels. Don’t remind them that you didn’t act the way they are acting. It’s different for different people.
5. Lighten up
You must know that no one really carries a magic wand that does what they command. They’re not pretending to be in trauma, so they can’t just snap out of it. It’s a real struggle to be normal and happy and enjoy things. Give them their time, and don’t make them feel guilty for being like that.
6. Why don’t you talk about it?
People who’ve been through trauma find it really difficult to talk about it. It’s okay if you want to understand the reason but don’t force them to share it; give them your support and time, and they’ll open up on their own.
7. You are a lost cause.
If it’s hard for you to be there for them, just take a break but never lose your temper and say things that’ll make them even more traumatized. Saying things like this make them believe that it’s never going to be okay, pushing them into depression.
8. You survived it, so stop being a victim.
Of course, they survived the trauma, as nearly everyone does, but you need to know at what cost. An incident leaves a long trail behind it, and it’s a long process to be out of it. Just facing the incident is not the thing; it impacts their mind, and you have to be empathetic about it.
9. Stop being pessimistic.
Someone being pessimistic about their future is a sign that they’re slipping into depression. You should help them by advising them – not to order to stop being negative; it’s just the same as saying, “snap out of it.”
10. Don’t dwell; it’s time to move on.
This just makes them feel guilty. Their mind becomes sensitive, and they may blame everything upon themselves, and saying this makes them do exactly the same. It’s a process, not a stage, so they take their own time and give it to themselves.
11. You should not say this.
Let them speak; it’s hard for them to share, and finally, if they start to talk, be a good listener. Don’t mansplain them. Let them take everything out. A good listener helps a lot of people.
12. Don’t be this sensitive.
Of course, they’ll be sensitive, having faced what they saw. It’s your time to stop being insensitive and saying things like this. Don’t say that they get triggered easily because that’s what happens to a person who’s been through trauma; saying such things belittles them.
13. It can only get better now.
Saying this makes them think about the worst that can still happen to make them feel scared and not ready to go ahead with life. It will make them avoid change, and they’ll be stuck in the same situation.
14. You’re faking it.
Just because a person is taking time doesn’t mean he is faking it or using it as an excuse. You should never be accusatory to someone; if you can’t help, just stay shut but don’t worsen it for them.
15. You said you were okay.
Don’t blame it on them if they tried to be normal, just for your sake. You should know that they say they are okay just so they’ll not be a burden on someone. Instead of bringing it up like this, you should be near them and help them be okay for real.
Words have an impact; be kind. You might mean well, but it could mess up their condition all the more.