Have you ever heard the advice, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all? Do you follow it? Have you encountered people who do not? Glib and trite responses do not do justice to the depth of tragedy that people face. Ill-considered replies make things worse. Do you see this as a negative precept? It doesn’t have to be. But what can you do? Your presence even in silence is a source of comfort and support. Job’s (false) comforters even had the decency to do this. You can ‘hold space’ with and for other people in silence. If you can’t say something nice, shut up and be present.
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