in the field of nursing, as in psychiatry, there is such a thing as therapeutic communication. we are supposed to apply these subtle rules in our day to day conversations with those we care for, regardless of age, sex, culture, and religion. they are universal. and presumably effective.
but then i learned that therapeutic communication could only go so far. more so, they are applicable only to strangers. or at least to people you care for but only to a certain extent. a nurse-patient relationship, so to speak. strictly for business.
friendship is a sensitive case where the unwritten rules are more binding. and more personal. you cannot remain detached from your friends’ issues. when you’re there, you have to be there. you cannot just say, “i notice that you look sad. do you want to talk about it? okay, tell me more about what you’re feeling right now. go on.” mind you, they’re actually therapeutic communication techniques. apparently, they seem like crap, which they are when it comes to dealing with supposedly close friends.
and so i use my all-time favorite therapeutic communication technique: silence. i’m not an effective shrink and i may be a terrible friend/confidant but in silence i utter a prayer or two for their grief.
‘coz the truth is, no one can heal the wounds better than the persons themselves.