Post # 1
I was talking with a friend who is in nursing school with me about this project we have to do: a Genogram. Basically it is a family tree with any health/medical problems listed under each person.
I said “this is going to take me forever! I have so many family members!”
Then she said “I don’t know how I am going to do this project, its just me, my mom and my sister.” And she started crying. I felt completely horrible and I just froze up and got silent. I feel horrible that I wasn’t able to console her, I just froze!
This always seems to happen whenever someone is upset around me. I am so bad at comforting people! Some people I know seem so good around people who are upset by hugging them or rubbing their shoulders and talking to them to make them feel better. I just feel like a moron because I get so uncomfortable!
How do you react if someone cries in front of you?
Post # 3
I usually begin crying instantly too. Ha
Post # 4
I get uncomfortable too unless its a close friend. I think its because im not a tactile person particularly so i am a stiff a d awkward hugger
Post # 5
Um, I cry too, which is also no help.
Post # 6
I also get uncomfortable bc I never know the right thing to say or do and assume that it’s the wrong thing. I just usually apologize and say I’m really sorry or try to crack a joke – although that doesn’t always work! lol
Post # 7
As a teacher I get super empathetic. Usually I rub their backs (or even my adult friends). Physical touch (even if you are just touching with a hand) can go a long way for comfort. I rub in a soothing circular motion on their backs and just listen to what they have to say. Most of the time you don’t need to say anything, just be there, even if it is awkward.
Post # 9
@Hyperventilate: hahaha love it! I would totally do that, unfortunately no one ever seems to cry in a place whee i have access to a broom!
Post # 10
@mrsbruff2b: Most of the time you don’t need to say anything, just be there, even if it is awkward.
I agree with this completely. Sometimes it can be awkward to sit in silence, but I think the simple act of being present with the person and letting them know you’re there if they need/want to talk can go a long way. I’ve been told I’m a very empathetic person, though, so this actually comes pretty naturally to me.
Post # 11
In most situations I cry too. However, a lot of people have been crying in front of me at work lately, and I haven’t had nearly the same reaction that I normally do. It’s been like kind of a “I wish you weren’t crying right now, because your emotional outburst has the potential to hold up my day & I really want to leave at 5pm” type of thing. I know it sounds really cold, but it is what it is.
Post # 12
@Hyperventilate: Hahaha I love this!!
I guess it depends what their crying about, and where we are. For somereason the first thing to come to mind is my office mertyr, who cries at least once a month over something, if she opens the flood gates I am pretty unsympathetic. I hate when people cry at work over work stuff!
Unless its a close frind or family member then I generally get uncomfortable, but I try to comfort them… from a safe distance with a sponge boom
Post # 13
Oh god, I feel SO awkward when people cry in front of me! I offer sort of tentative hugs or arm pats, and try to just listen and say sorry, but I’m so antsy the whole time (which makes me feel bad/guilty, and then I just get antsier lol)
Post # 14
I generally just let them cry it out and try to say something to empathize with them. Since you’re in nursing school, you’ll have to learn how to “therapeutically communicate” 😉 A lot of patients cry for any number of reasons and you gotta learn to roll with the punches.
Post # 15
Depends why they’re crying.
Normally, if it’s a suprise, I’m full of empathy but unfortunately act awkward at first.
If it’s fitting the discussion (“my grandpa just passed away last night”) it’s less of a surprise and I can roll with it better, keep talking about the topic, offer tissue, express agreement about how sad it is…etc.
If it’s a cry-baby… a person I know who cries too much and for unjustified reasons, I ignore it and get a little sharper-toned, indicating my annoyance.
Post # 16
Yep, always awkward.
HOWEVER, I think in your situation, you could console your friend by saying that even with a small family, a genogram is still incredibly valuable. It will point out patterns in her family history that will teach her so much about herself, her mom, and her sister. Not everyone has a huge family, but everyone’s family has a history.