How to sympathize correctly

❤️‍🩹 In order not to accidentally say to other people an unpleasant thing that may have been said to us, let’s master the formula for expressing sympathy. After all, at the right moment, sometimes there are simply no words, we get lost or say a meaningless banality.

The formula is ridiculously simple.
Those of you who freely express sympathy will shrug your shoulders, “Sure, how could it be otherwise?”
But for me personally, at one time it was a discovery. And by the way it brought a lot of relief.

  • ✅ The universal formula is called universal because it is suitable for any situation in which you need to express sympathy.
  • ✅ But do not forget that with any universal product, the best result is achieved when you slightly finish the blank with a jigsaw for specific purposes. In this way, you add something of your own that is appropriate and suitable for this particular moment.

In a humorous form, the formula for sympathy looks like this:

🔆 “Oh, you are my poor kitty! Oh, what they are… (here the script uses offensive language)!”
Once you’ve found your favorite word for “them” and practiced pronouncing it to your heart’s content, you can read the scientific explanation of this formula below.

Part 1 «poor kitty»

In real life, this may sound like “How bad it was for you”, “what a nightmare”, “I can’t even imagine what you have to go through” and so on. The British, by the way, automatically respond to any complaint with “Oh, it must have been so stressful!” It seems like it’s printed into their brains.

❗️ With this phrase, you acknowledge the feelings of your interlocutor (psychologists call this validation). You are showing that he/she has a right to his feelings, that you share them, that he/she is not alone, and that you would feel the same way in this situation.
The feeling of loneliness aggravates any experience. The feeling that I am with someone makes any experience easier.

Part 2 “they are …🤬”:

In real life, this may sound like “how could they do this”, “this is so unfair”, “this is …” and so on. You can even repeat what your interlocutor called them.
Here we again have the validation from the first part. It’s so good that it wouldn’t be a sin to repeat it.
There is no need to justify “them,” at least not at the moment. If it’s hard to resist, just ignore the second part and use “my poor kitty” repeatedly.

🤓 Notice the trick? There is almost no need to speak to express sympathy. You just need to listen and assent. Compassion is not in words but in action.

One of my good friends knows this formula perfectly.
She doesn’t even replace words anymore when I whine. She just calls me a poor kitten, and scolds “them”. After three repetitions, we both start laughing, and the stress disappears as if by hand.

What do you think of the formula? Will you try to use it? Can you tell me in the comments how you feel?

If you have problems expressing emotions, you can schedule a consultation with me. ✍🏻

Katerina Furman
Psychologist, hypnotherapist, EMDR


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