The truth is, no matter how much we care, it's easy to say the wrong thing to people in, or near, a personal crisis.
So Susan Silk has developed a simple technique to help people avoid this mistake.
It works for all kinds of crises: medical, legal, financial, romantic, even existential. She calls it the Ring Theory.
The guiding principle is simple: Comfort IN, dump OUT.
"There was nothing wrong with Katie's friend saying she was not prepared for how horrible Katie looked, or even that she didn't think she could handle it.
The mistake was that she said those things to Pat. She dumped IN.
Complaining to someone in a smaller ring than yours doesn't do either of you any good. On the other hand, being supportive to her principal caregiver may be the best thing you can do for the patient.
Most of us know this. Almost nobody would complain to the patient about how rotten she looks. Almost no one would say that looking at her makes them think of the fragility of life and their own closeness to death. In other words, we know enough not to dump into the center ring. Ring Theory merely expands that intuition and makes it more concrete: Don't just avoid dumping into the center ring, avoid dumping into any ring smaller than your own." ....Read more