Curiosity, not judgment

Ask a question before you jump in with a conclusion.

Approaching conversations about grief with curiosity keeps us open to learning how the other person is doing. All too often we look only at what we can see about a situation and make a conclusion or offer a solution. No one likes being told what to do or how to feel. Instead, ask open-ended questions.

If you’re concerned about your person, it’s OK to say, “You’ve mentioned several times that you’re not sleeping and that is a concern for me. Can we talk about that? Would you like to talk about or hear about what’s helped me in the past when I haven’t been able to sleep? Would that be helpful?” Right?

“So, I’ve noticed that you’ve dropped a lot of weight lately. What’s eating like for you?”

Have your question voice your concerns rather than coming in with this sort of attacking diatribe of what the other person should be doing better. That is never going to land well.

A much better approach is to make a statement and ask a question.

Ask open-ended questions
Judgment Caring curiosity
You don’t look so good. How have you been feeling lately?
You need to get rid of their things. You've mentioned that you're ready to clean out their closet. Would you like help getting started?
“I think if we could start practicing erring on the side of curiosity rather than on the side of judgement, that would go a long way to making everybody feel more heard and respected - no matter what is going on in their lives.” Megan Devine