Nice Words that Hurt

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

You’ll be ok.  It will all turn out. God won’t give you more than you can handle. It’s better to have loved and lost.  At least you can have more children.

Ouch! That last one is a grenade. So-called innocent phrases are like punches to the gut in certain contexts. How would you like to hear all the above if your child had recently died?

It is decidedly not easy knowing what to say in times of crisis. We want to help, do not want to be too burdened, care, have other priorities, and so on. We are human; life really does go on when someone else is in pain.

But we can do better than the sun will rise tomorrow, right? Life goes on. I know someone you will like. Cheer up, have a drink! These are not helpful at best, and possibly hurtful in the case of the break-up of a serious relationship or marriage.

Nice phrases might sound like euphemisms to the one who is hurting.

You can get a new pet.  (Quit crying)

You are fine. Buck up. (Quit spoiling the party.  Be fun again)

You will find another job.  (Don’t tell me about your unjust firing again.)

Relax.  (Anxiety is all in your head)

Many of the above statements and an endless list of more, are meant to make us more comfortable in the presence of suffering. They are dismissive. How about using a simple, thinking of you, or praying for you? And deliver this message several times during whatever difficult is occurring.

Let people know you care without ignoring or dismissing their pain. Remind them people can be loyal, and you can prove it with your words.

Today’s Helpful Word

Proverbs 25:20

Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
    or like vinegar poured on a wound,
    is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016
Photo Joe Boyle Photography

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used

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