Recently, we wrote about how many people tend to isolate themselves when grieving the loss of a close person in their life. We've analyzed why this is a bad plan for everyone and how being around supportive people helps the grieving process into the future. But the type of people we lean on to help us through grief aren't always as supportive as we might hope.
In this case, sometimes avoiding people is a good idea when you find out the people you thought were supportive don't quite understand your pain.
Understanding the perspective of those grieving is essential when providing a strong support system. Unfortunately, even those meaning well can sometimes approach their support in the wrong way without realizing it. It's best to avoid these types who haven't taken the time to truly comprehend what you're going through.
Perhaps it's challenging for some to fully grasp grief until they go through it themselves. Nevertheless, certain personality types are best to avoid since some can't lend support without judging, analyzing, minimizing, or comparing your loss.
Let's look at these above personality types in more detail so you know who to avoid.
Those Who Minimize Grief
Have you been around someone who constantly minimizes your grief as their own way of trying to give you perspective? It doesn't help when someone says "it could have been worse." During a time when you're already hurting, hearing this from someone only minimizes (and stigmatizes) what grief really is.
Perhaps some people look at the bigger picture and think one individual losing someone close doesn't compare to the larger ills of the world. If you're depending on this person for emotional support, minimizing your grief makes it difficult for you to express your true feelings.
You should never feel bad for grieving because it's a necessary process in order to achieve any emotional healing. Anyone who consistently tries to convince you your loss is insignificant should become a distant person in your life. Your grief is as important as anyone's, no matter who they are.
Those Who Compare Your Loss to Theirs
Another person you may want to stay away from is the one who tries to compare your loss to one they've experienced. These people usually say "I know how you feel" as a way of saying that everyone on earth hurts. While those who do this likely have your best interests at heart, it ultimately brings negative feelings to you because it once again implies your loss isn't significant.
Always comparing a loss to one someone else went through doesn't help you cope and lessens any chance of helping you through the grieving process. Maybe the other person hasn't completely healed either and thinks you have to do the same.
Analyzing grief on the surface never gets to the core of finding a way to completely heal internally. You need a good friend who acts as a reliable ally.
Those Who Aren't Comfortable With Your Feelings
One of the worst traits in a friend is one who isn't comfortable with you getting emotional around them. When this happens, it once again makes it difficult for you to feel safe enough to show your true feelings.
Everyone needs to grieve to find peace with the loss that has occured. The journey toward that sense of resolution is one requiring exploring your inner feelings. A properly supportive friend will help you through this journey while never judging you.
It's time to let the above personality types go for now and find those who can help you.
Visit us here at The Grief Recovery Institute so we can help you with a recent loss or one that occured years ago. Never let anyone diminish you properly grieving so you can get on the road to recovery.