When a friend says something is bothering them, beware the urge to go ‘Oh no no no that’s not really a thing’ or (even worse) the tendency to blame them for feeling the way they do because it makes you uncomfortable to witness them.
It may seem like you are being helpful by telling them their experience isn’t something to be upset about, but in their eyes you are likely to be invalidating how they feel in that moment of their life’s journey.
Invalidating people’s feelings and experience is a form of control – if you’re doing it, or feeling the urge to, you may want to spend some time exploring why you do this.
It’s OK for people to feel bad sometimes.
Next time anyone close to you says they are feeling bad, instead of trying to fix the problem or tell them they’re wrong, join them for a moment in the feeling.
Sit with them in the place where they are. You may experience something deeper than the illusion of controlling another person.
Weirdly, when you do this, you frequently will find the person’s upset or anger softens and even disappates.
(This works when you accept and sit with your own uncomfortable feelings, too).
True intimacy arises from meeting folks where they are, not dragging them to where you think they should be.