When your friend wants to vent after an exasperating divorce-related experience, it’s not only understandable, but necessary. A traditional African proverb says, “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” When you provide a safe, objective space to vent, you help your friend protect his or her “grass” – whether that’s the children, mutual friends, extended family, or his or her own emotional and physical well-being.
Because it’s likely your friend will not be at his or her best when venting, here are some ideas to help you be a more skillful, compassionate listener. Continue reading →
Whenever I’m going through something difficult, it’s far easier to focus on what’s wrong with my life than what’s right. But I find that when I make myself focus on the good instead of the bad, I feel a whole lot better, in general. Studies have proven that positive people live longer, more fulfilling lives. However, it’s only natural to feel hopeless and desperate while going through a life-changing divorce, so your friend is going to need constant support and cheerleading from you. Here are some ways to help her “look on the sunny side of life.” Continue reading →
In theory, I love the holidays! In reality, I’m relieved when they are over. Many times, I’m convinced that this is going to be the year that the season will be stunning. But then I remember – the holidays don’t trump life! In fact, they often complicate it. When life is riddled with loss, change and conflict, the holidays don’t wait for healing.
The holidays will likely be a difficult time for anyone facing the loss of his or her marriage. Your friend may lean in hard, and you may not know what to say, how to help or what to give. More than ever, they need the gift of empathy.
These four attributes of empathy are based on Brené Brown’s book I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)1: Continue reading →