Practical psychologist, candidate of psychological sciences emphasizes that it is worth knowing some features of communication and taking them into account when contacting people who were in the zone of active hostilities. After all, sometimes the very “caring” attitude can provoke negative experiences in people who have already experienced stressful events.
1. You should always remember that in front of you is a person who has the strength, resources, knowledge and skills that enable him to survive. The very fact that she is in front of you is evidence that she is “capable”.
In most cases, a person can solve life issues by himself, determine the future movement, make decisions and bear responsibility for them. Do not take away from her the ability to be the subject of her own life.
2. Do not make a choice for another. If a person has survived violence, a situation in which he was helpless, the ability to choose from alternatives restores a sense of control. If you decide to change something in plans, surroundings, etc., first get consent. A person should be an active participant in his life.
3. Respect a person’s boundaries. She has the right to do what she considers necessary, to have other guidelines and values, her own vision of the situation. Trying to “help” can be perceived as violence. It is worth asking if a person needs help, and only then act. You should also not touch someone else’s body without permission. If we really want to hug, this is our desire, and it may not coincide with the need of another person.
4. Do not pity, but empathize. Pity deprives the other of subjectivity, power. Usually, we empathize with an adult. It also goes without saying that we understand the emotions of someone who has gone through a terrible experience. We don’t know how it was, we weren’t there. But a person’s story evokes feelings in us, and we can voice them.
5. Taking care of a person, it is good to create conditions for him to experience positive emotions. However, do not demand that the other person feel the emotion that you expect, to be joyful and happy. A person who has experienced terrible events has the right to feel anger, sadness, grief and to be aware of what is happening to him.
6. Do not devalue a person’s emotions by comparing them with others – everyone experiences their own conditions, and everyone needs their own time to go through this process.
7. It is very important to be able to withstand the emotions of another. If a person who has returned from a combat zone needs to express his feelings, tell his own story, it would be good to give him such an opportunity. Defining in words what she experienced helps to heal mental wounds. However, we can not only talk about emotions – we can be silent about them. If the person shuts up, just be there for them. It is not necessary to say anything. It is not easy – for this you need to be emotionally stable, to become a support for yourself.