Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to respond when someone experiences strong or negative emotions. Often we feel awkward, uncomfortable, or even nervous, and may be unsure of how to respond. This is made more challenging because the socially acceptable response to someone asking us how we are is often “Good, and you?”. Whenever someone answers with a genuine response, such as “I’m actually having a tough day today”, our mental gears come to a halt and panic sets in.
This doesn’t only happen with co-workers or acquaintances. Even with close friends and family, we tend to be most comfortable around expressions of joy, happiness, and excitement. So how can we support someone experiencing a strong negative emotion?
One effective strategy is “Being With”, a core concept of the world-renowned “Circle of Security” attachment-based parenting model.