Calming the person that is talking to you about a problem:
- People want to feel heard and understood. When you are listening with good eye contact, attentive body language, reflection (so you are feeling), and validation (it must be hard to feel that way) people tend to feel less frustrated and upset.
- People tend to be less emotional when thinking logically. Move people, who are overwhelmed with emotion, into describing some aspect of the problem (such as When did it start? How did you notice it was going wrong?)
Calming ideas you can give to the person:
- Ask them to recall when they have handled similar situations successfully
- Encourage them to see the situation as the problem not the other person
- Encourage them that many people in the bible have struggled and they are not alone (David in the cave, Joseph thrown in the pit, etc)
- Ask them to focus on just what they have to do today, not all the possibilities
- Encourage them to take care of themselves in stressful time- a walk in the park, bubble bath, go to a movie, exercise, doodling, seeing a friend.
When you are getting upset by another person's criticism or anxiety:
- Practice deep breathing to re-center yourself.
- Remind yourself that the person doesn't need you to fix all their problems. Start by understanding this problem. Ask what type of help they want. Know your own boundaries.
- Trust that there are lots of resources out there and you don't have to do everything yourself.
- Recognize when you are anxious and over-focused on that person being OK. Take time out to do something relaxing.