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Social Skills and other help,


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Would like people to contribute to this thread, with advice and help for others. Add anything that people might have questions about, and I'll add as well. Never know what to say when I've attended a funeral.

What not to say when someone dies

Even those with the best intentions might say something inappropriate to the bereaved. Hurtful sentiments can damage relationships; so many individuals stay away, fearing they'll say the wrong thing.

So what can you do? Stick to the basics when speaking with the bereaved. Communicate in some way your sadness at their loss and if you have some knowledge of the deceased, mention a quality you admired. For example: "I was sad to hear of Jill's death. I found her interesting and fun to be with."

Statements that get you into trouble are often your interpretation of the loss. Here are some areas you might want to avoid:

1. Comments that minimize the loss, such as: "You must be relieved that this is over" or "It’s for the best that she didn't linger."

2. Inappropriate statements, such as: "This is a blessing in disguise."

3. Any suggestion there is something good in the experience, such as: "Look on the bright side" or "Every cloud has a silver lining."

4. Comparisons of your pain and your experience to the person who is grieving, such as: "You must feel as dreadful as I did when I got my divorce."

5. Any reference that you know how they feel; it's impossible to know how another person is feeling, even if you have experienced a similar loss.

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For funerals, I just offer my condolences to the family and nothing else. I just keep my mouth shut. I never say much. I am a big believer in not saying anything unless I have something to say.
Think I was in shock when I read the things not to say, as I've said some of them, repeating what I've heard others say.
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I never speak at funerals. I don't speak much anyway. I avoid sad things as much as possible.
I think if you are close with the person, it is more likely okay to say things such as I faced something similar and/or be specific.

Since the person would trust you more, they would know what you really mean. As a general rule, and if you aren't 100% sure about the context of the situation, follow Mia's rules listed above.

[Some] people in mourning want people to show they truly care. Mia's rules show you some things not to do that would sound so fake even if you meant otherwise.
Additional things to say afterwards.

I'm sorry for your loss.

I'll call you in a few days to see how you're doing. (But only if you'll actually do so)

Finally, remember that everyone feels awkward during these situations; the most important thing you can do, still, is to express your sympathy and give the bereaved a chance to talk or ask for help if they need to.
Now I just stick platitudes or nothing at all.
I once had a really good friend living in another city who lost her father. I told her that if she needed to get away for a few days she could stay at my place. I've never heard of her since.
Think that maybe "Sorry for your loss" is about all I can handle.
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Mia I hate platitudes too. I hate to say them or write them. I just do, because they're "safe". If they really are too much to utter, I keep quiet.
It's sad that we live in a society where many NTs try to look for the littlest thing to "get away" from others. Sometimes they are in the wrong. So selfish and disgustingly disrespectful for arcan's ex-friend to use that situation as an "excuse" to leave the friendship w/ no talking out about it.

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