The High Value of Simple Reassurance
The right words at the right time can make all the difference.
Posted June 18, 2018
We were taught in graduate school that when patients are anxious about their condition, it’s important to reassure them as much as possible: to tell them that they have little to worry about and progress is being made, or that they are not as bad off as they fear. Giving simple reassurance can also be really helpful in your relationships and personal life.
When your loved ones get nervous about life, love, or the pursuit of happiness, one of the best things you can do is to let them know that things will be okay. If your medical doctor were to inform you that what you have is a cold and not pneumonia after all, he or she would likely start by saying that even though you feel may like death warmed over, all your tests results are fine and you just need to rest and take care of yourself until you feel better. Upon hearing this, suddenly your fears would start to melt away and your condition would improve a little. Same thing applies to your loved ones.
My wife and I have a lot of faith in each other, and if the stress of the day gets to either one of us, we instinctively are there to help lift the other out of the worry pit. There are also times when your mate will see your mood start to turn before you even notice it. Allowing him or her to ask how you are feeling, and to ask again if you don’t immediately share, will help both of you understand what is actually happening. Then you can do something about it.
Perhaps you will decide to take a walk or even a nap. Maybe there is some work to do around the house. Any activity will help, even watching a movie together. This gives the person who is struggling a chance to heal before an unpleasant mood can take over. It also serves as a bonding experience with your partner. Couples who are open about their emotions have the ability to reassure each other, and that is a true gift. No one can calm me down like the woman I love.
Sometimes, depending on the situation, you may find it difficult to give someone in your life the reassurance he or she needs. Perhaps you have gotten tired of being “the strong one” or you have pulled away because you feel that your energy is being drained. This is all real, and it happens to even those with a heart of gold and the best of intentions. We can all get burnt out when someone we love is too needy. That’s human. The thing you need to remember is that the two of you are in this together, so it’s a good idea to have a backup in case you can’t muster the energy at the moment, someone else who may be able to step in for you when needed. If you are in a caregiving situation, this is a must to help keep you from being too affected by the fallout.
Couples who share their feelings, both good and bad, are closer than partners who just try to tough it out. Remember that your mate is not your therapist, but if you have an understanding that talking about your feelings is something you do in your relationship, then the bad stuff can be eased by the gentle and loving reassurance of your partner in life.