Curiosity, not judgment
Ask a question before you offer a solution or jump to 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 caring questions.
Make a statement + ask a question = caring curiosity
|You look terrible.||I'm here for you. How have you been feeling lately?|
|You need to get rid of their things.||You said you are ready to clean out their closet. Would you like help getting started?|
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.