Have you ever attempted to console someone and have them respond hotly, ‘No, you don’t!’ to your ‘I understand’? The thing is they are absolutely right and you know it.
You may have lost your dad at an early age but you still don’t know how she feels losing her dad; you were close to your dad, she wasn’t. You may have had an easy pregnancy but that doesn’t make her pregnancy symptoms less real. You may have lost your job and taken it in good faith but don’t think you know what he’s going through now that he has lost his because he doesn’t have your entrepreneurial skills. The truth is you only have an idea of people’s emotions. You do not know for sure. Humans are very forgetful. We think we know how it is but actually, we’ve forgotten. it is one of the reasons married couples are told not to bring third parties into their problems unless absolutely necessary.
We do not have access to the shoes the individual is presently wearing to be able to tell exactly where it pinches. Even if we do, our feet are different from theirs and we may not feel the pinch or we may even be unable to take a step in the said shoes. All we can and should do is to walk their journey with them, even if for a short distance. Accompany them on their journey and listen to them; most times, they will be grateful for the companionship.
The mistake we make is we often try to talk instead. We try to tell them we know exactly what they are going through but we really don’t. Besides, they may be unwilling to accept advice then.
Empathise instead. Occasionally, we can insert necessary reminders into the conversation. When they are ready to seek a solution, they will. If they are incapable of seeking help, only then should you intervene. Everyone is different. Let them be. At least, for now.
May Allah help us all during trying moments.