Responding to other people's difficult feelings: Supportive phrases bingo

Getting comfortable with challenging feelings

Lots of us aren’t at all comfortable when other people express challenging or difficult feelings. It can be hard to know what to say. During the relocation process, parents and teachers often tend to steer children to focus on the positive feelings and ignore the negative feelings (you can read more about this in my blog post about toxic positivity).

How do I know what to say?

This fantastic resource from Lisa Olivera Therapy is an excellent start. In her supportive phrases bingo, she offers a range of responses which validate someone else’s feelings and show your support without trying to ‘fix’ the issue.

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Looking for more support?

You might be interested in the following options:

  1. My hello/goodbye programme for families or international schools provides practical strategies for parents and teachers to address children’s challenging feelings in a constructive way

  2. Using A New Adventure: Coaching Cards for an International Move provides opportunities for everyone in the family to express their feelings at different stages of a move and to respond to one another in a supportive way

  3. Watch for my upcoming blog on emotion coaching for even more practical advice on responding to challenging feelings