“Need to Vent?” Asks Understanding Friends of Those Who Are Ill
When things are going crazy in a friend’s life, it’s okay to ask, “Do you need to vent?” and give her a chance to share her struggles without feeling guilty that she is piling it all onto you.
We all need to vent to a friend occasionally. And chronic illness certainly has its share of frustrations. Whether it is battling the insurance company over charges they just retroactively denied from two years ago to the unexpected and uncomfortable side effects of the new drug that was supposed to make you feel better–not worse, every day can seem to have its battles.
When was the last time you asked a friend with an invisible illness, “Do you just need to vent? I’m all ears and I won’t repeat it”?
Now, we know we shouldn’t sit around and think about all the injustices or the things in our life that make us bitter. But we still feel hurt.
Your brother may have told you he wishes he had an illness so mom and dad would stop complaining about him getting a job. A neighbor may have leaned over your fence and insinuated that if you got out of your lawn chair and tried playing with your toddler she would stop pulling up the flowers.
Whatever it is that makes you stand in the shower with tears running down your face. . . well, sometimes you just need someone to listen for a few minutes.
By asking a friend, “Do ya need to vent?” you open the door for her to share for a few minutes about what is on her mind. You may even offer to pray for her or to check back with her in a few days and see if things have improved.
And why mention that you promise you won’t repeat it? There are times when you may have a mutual friend, or maybe she comes over for dinner when your parents visit. Remember, whatever a friend cents to you is personal and confidential. Don’t run and tell a mutual friend tomorrow that your ill friend is on more Vicodin than either of you ever imagined!
Instead, lean over and ask your dear friend, “Do you need to vent? I promise to listen for a few minutes and I will even try not to give any advice, okay?” with a smile and see if she is willing to open up to you a bit.
TWEET THIS: Things TO SAY to an ill person #3 Do you just need to vent? I’m all ears and I won’t repeat it. #iiwk13 http://ow.ly/ce2L2
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Sometimes there is nothing we can say to take away the pain someone is in that we love. In this video, artist Belinda Carlisle sings, “My Heart Goes Out To You.” When someone needs to vent, let them. And put your arm around them for a hug and say, “my heart goes out to you.”
[simple_series title="How to Help an Ill Friend and What to Say"]
View all posts in this series
- Tweets! 20 Things to Say to an Ill Person
- How to Be a Fabulous Friend to Those with Illness
- How To Really Help Me When I Ask For Your Help
- “I Care About You” Important For Ill Friend To Hear
- Ask Ill Friend “I am Running An Errand. What Do You Need?”
- “Need to Vent?” Asks Understanding Friends of Those Who Are Ill
- “It’s Okay to Cry” Are Precious Words To Ill Friend
- “Beyond Casseroles” Provides Great Tools For Those Reaching Out to Hurting
- Tell a Chronically Ill Friend, “I Admire You”
- Bring a Meal to a Friend Who Is Ill – Not As Common As You Think
- An Ill Mom Appreciates Playdates For Her Kids
- How to Help a Friend Who Is Ill With Household Chores
- Prayer For A Friend With Illness Can Be Beneficial
- “I Will Listen” Is A Special Gift For Friend With Illness
- What to Know Before Telling An Ill Friend to Cheer Up!
- “How Can Our Church Help The Ill?” is Good Question
- Tell Me, What’s It Like To Be You For a Day?
- How To Bring Food To An Ill Friend Who May Be Embarrassed
- Ask Ill Friend How They’ve Come To Appreciate Life
- Wait With An Ill Friend While He Gets Test Results
- How to Help a Friend Who Has An Invisible Illness
- Ill Friends Know How To Listen, Not Just Say “Feel Better”
- Help An Ill Friend Get Stuff Done
- Is An Ill Friend Spiritual? Say, “Tell Me About God.”
- Video: What NOT to say to an ill person
- Ill Friends Can Teach One a Lot About Endurance
- When a Friend is Ill, The Right Words Are a Blessing