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How to contest a will: What’s involved?
Validation and Invalidation Excerpts from an article by Cathy Palmer-Scruggs Full article Recently, I had a few situations to come up that called for some comfort from my friends. I really needed them. A few came through for me in just 'being there' I did not ask anyone for advice. I don't make the habit of asking my friends for advice I am a 'thinking' person and only need some time and to get things off of my chest. I do not ask my friends to solve my problems. I do not tell my friends about a situation in order for them to come up with ways in which to tell me how to 'get through it' or 'how to think about it' or how to look at it. No one likes to hear things like "don't let it get to you" If solutions were that easy, don't you think we'd all do them? And I've also noticed that the very people who tell me this will also eventually deal with frustrating things, and they don't follow their own advice. See, it's different when something happens to THEM It's easier said than done If they are upset, obviously, it's bothering them. They can't just 'dismiss' their feelings on a whim. How do you feel when someone says that to you? Then there's the other side of the coin Well, you don't need to say or do anything They do not expect special words and solutions They know that not all of their friends are poetic, graceful with words They just want to know you care And believe me, even if you don't think so at the moment, if you have a hard time facing your friend, you can get a little blank note card and just put the words 'you are in my thoughts' and that is enough Send it to them. No one ever expects anything 'fancy' or 'just the right thing to say' Basically, for me, I just need to talk The very best words a friend can ever say to me is "I'm here for you if you just need to talk". My close friends know that I am not coming to them for answers I just need to talk it out And sometimes, my good friends will 're-state' what I've already said, or re-phrase it And sometimes they even tell me a similar situation that may have happened in their own lives Not everything works for all people. What may have worked for you may NOT work for your friend. I realize that when our friends are hurting and in pain, our instincts urge us to want to help. None of us want to see our friends hurt. But, especially in my own situation recently, I expected no solutions All I needed was 'validation' And when my wonderful friends do that, they are deeper into my heart I feel closer to them and respect them because they respected me and my feelings. If a person loses a loved one to death, it might not be a good time to say things like "you need to get past that" And I've actually had people say this to me. I don't care how much time passes or what a person tells themselves No amount of grieving, then or now, will take away the pain or fill the void. Time will allow us to continue our lives while we accept the loss. Accepting the loss does not mean we are not allowed to grieve from time to time No one has the right to tell you to put it so far back behind you, that you no longer feel the loss. It will always be there. Being able to live with this loss does not mean that you are not allowed to visit those very painful memories. Just because you can still cry about anything does not mean you have not gone on with your life And anyone who tells you anything different Why is it that when a person feels momentarily sad, their friends think it's their cue to stop them from feeling and grieving? Who in the world told them that was healthy? When did they become an expert at how long a person should grieve, and feel, and cry and remember? And just because I do cry from time to time over something, that does not mean that for the rest of my life, each and every day, I will sit and cry, just like this, forever Allow me to be sad, just as you would welcome and allow me to be happy My telling someone of an event or something that I am going through, does not mean it's their cue to try to 'solve my problem' I didn't ask for advice or ask how to grieve. No one has the right to rob me of my right to express myself or to grieve Just because YOU can't feel it in the same way or maybe not 'see it' in the same way, does not mean that YOU get to take it away from your friend This does not mean your friend is wrong The feelings are based on your friend's life experiences What if you are the kind of person who is in denial of things around you Maybe that works for you I try to avoid that by dealing with it now, not later. And it will still hurt later, but not with the same intensity. That does not mean I didn't do something right You do grow with, and from, your experiences. If you can't deal with your friend's pain and frustration, then maybe it's best that you say nothing at all They probably aren't asking you for a solution anyway. Why hurt them worse? I'm sure that if your friend needs or asks advice, it would be a different story. I'm just talking about those people who like to immediately step in and tell a hurting person to suppress their feelings. They see and feel what they see and feel They may be more grounded in reality than you are Your friend is trying to deal with reality, what is real Please do NOT see it as your cue to 'fix' them or tell them that they "should feel this way" or that they "should not feel that way". They feel as they do because of their own life's experiences Being 'strong' for your friend does not mean you have to solve their problems or give them answers. Just be there to 'listen' You may help them, upon hearing them explain their situation, to even agree that 'you can understand how and why they would feel that way', even if YOUR OWN thoughts are different To your friend, all of what they are feeling is very real and very painful As a great friend, all you need to do is just lend a listening ear If that needs to be done, they will do it on their own, you can't rush it. They have to see their OWN way through. If you take it as your cue to minimize their situation, 'make excuses' for their enemies, or the ones who are hurting them and causing them grief, what you are now doing is making them feel defensive So, while they try, once again, to tell you why they are hurting, you have just sent them on a detour of the path they are on And, not only are they upset at the original situation, now they feel alienated and unsupported by you And the more you try to get them to see it a different way, the worse it will get. They have to see those things for themselves, "if" it's something they can ever do to begin with. Again, not on YOUR schedule. They, most likely, know more about the situation than you do, give them the benefit of the doubt. No one expects you to have a clever saying Each person has to work through their own pain The worst thing you can do is minimize what they are dealing with If I really want to get some advice from, I'll ask for it And this also goes for situations regarding pets. I have friends who have lost pets through a death, or the pet turned up missing, and they have told me of incredibly insensitive things that were said to them. They are grieving a companion This was a creature, a 'friend', who loved them unconditionally. Who wouldn't miss something like that?
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