Today’s Challenge: Make Someone Feel NORMAL
This is a little different kind of challenge, but something we should all think about doing more often.
Do you know someone who is going through a major life event like a health battle, loss of a loved one, major financial troubles, or divorce? Or, do you know someone who lives with a special challenge every day like a physical difference, unusual home situation, or other “abnormal” condition? Whether the situation is temporary or permanent, everyone likes to feel “NORMAL” whenever possible.
Think of someone you know who may be feeling a little different. Now, think of things you could say or do that would help them feel more normal. Instead of bringing up that “abnormal” part of their life, act like it doesn’t exist.
For example, I know a mother who recently lost her 11-year-old son after a lifelong battle with heart problems. Grieving is a long process, especially after the loss of a child. When I read her beautiful blog, I can see that it is impossible to feel normal – that any sense of joy would make her feel like she is minimizing the loss in some way. At the same time, she struggles to let go for even a moment, because everyone who knows her sees her as a grieving mother. They look at her in sympathy, ask how she is getting by. Each encounter pulls her back to her state of grief. What she really needs is for someone to not ask, just for a day. She needs a bit of “normal” like coffee with a friend, a movie out with laughter, and no talk of the pain.
If you find yourself double thinking what to say to someone because they are in a state of “not-normal”, think of how you would interact if you had no idea about the situation. Then, try that. Don’t give the sympathetic looks or bring up something that may not want to think about. Instead, just make them feel normal.