To what do we refer when we observe and express our concern that someone we know seems wound up really tight these days? Aren’t we saying that they’re a ball of energy that seems to be under a lot of pressure and near collapse or explosion? Not predicting a time, place and specific event . . . simply expressing concern over a trending pattern . . .
Something akin to that sentiment though, no?
The question I’m asking us is: how did we arrive at that impression or conclusion? Was it after a careful analysis and a detailed Q & A with them?
Probability says: nope. (Of course, it’s not as confidant a nope as it appears on paper.)
This is what we tell ourselves and each other: We sensed their pressure somehow—sometimes instantly—and we often don’t know what to do from there. If we care about them, don’t we still do our best to keep an ‘eye’ on them, trying to be alert for any chance to help?
. . . or do you want to steer way clear?
It’s a tough mf choice. I know. And no one can make it for you. And no one will ever know what’s in your heart except you. I realize that’s not much help and I, too, want to help.
And so, I offer what I have found through experience has been a helpful place to start in such situations. Move physically close enough to them that they look at you. Don’t worry. You won’t get too close. Show them the warmth in your eyes. And mean it. If they don’t snap or growl, ask them if you can bring them a coffee or a glass of water or if they could sit for a minute—no? I get it. Tell them that it’s ok, whatever it is. Let them know that someone sees them and cares. It’s enough.
When we try, when we step in. Even if we only look upon them with compassion, these are all actions in the direction of loving and loving is what helps.
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