Chapter Four for Training

  1. What is the situation or problem?  Measuring our words carefully so we do no harm.
  2. Why does it matter? Thoughtful expressions of love and concern are important, especially to the patient’s mental health.
  3. How do you engage in healthy conversations about it?

Encouraging Words

Words are powerful tools. When a friend is discouraged or having a difficult time, the right words can clear their outlook and lift their spirits. Other times, there may be a person who does great work and deserves an encouraging note, and the right words from you will make all the difference.[i]

There is a children’s book called, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, his best friend has deserted him, there’s no dessert in his lunch bag, and he’s served lima beans for dinner.

Are there days when you can relate to Alexander — when you have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Maybe you’re feeling that way today.

Sometimes we wake up in the morning, and before our feet hit the floor, we know the day is careening downhill fast. Life pummels us with disappointments, challenges, and heartache, or maybe there’s no obvious reason — our mood just shifts from light-hearted to heavy-laden.

When I’m having a no good, very bad day, my first reaction is to push through and ignore my feelings. I don’t want to feel bad, so I think if I just keep moving, I’ll shake it off. This works on occasion, but other times it feels like moving through quicksand. I have no motivation or desire to do anything.

his is the time when I need some encouraging words and inspiration. I need some momentum to pull myself out of the doldrums and reframe my thoughts. As I replace negative thoughts with inspiring words and ideas, I find my feelings often follow.[ii]

For Discussion

Tact – a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense[iii] 

  1. How can a person develop a sense of tactfulness?
  2. Why would you want to be tactful when you visit someone who is sick or who is depressed?
  3. When you need encouraging words, just google it!  So much to glean! How can we use the information we find on the internet?
  4. Write down 5 more words that are synonyms for tact.

[i], By Blake Flannery

[ii], By Barrie Davenport