Empathy: The Throw Pillow Rule of Thumb…

N. Gray, MD

I’ve definitely said my share of words that weren’t helpful in fragile moments with people who were suffering. Learning to be present without pity, preaching, or patronizing is an art that requires the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and hear your words with their ears. I find I’ve rarely regretted keeping my mouth shut in these moments, but when I feel I must speak, I’ve found the “Throw Pillow” rule of thumb to be useful:

RULE OF THUMB: If you can imagine that what you’re about to say would look good written on a throw pillow, it’s probably not helpful to say it when someone’s hurting…¬†

Empathy: The Throw Pillow Rule of Thumb

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