My Spanish-Speaking partner seems to be in a difficult situation...

What can I say to open the conversation and offer help?

The situation:

Your partner is having a difficulty.

You want to help and show you are there for her/him, but how?

When this happened before, you were confused and said something that didn´t help you to connect .

You are not sure how to say express your support in Spanish.

You feel like your Spanish skills are limiting the way you support your loved ones in those situations.

You wanted to say something to help your beloved one, but you doubted and stay silent.

You have the feeling what you say is not right or seems confusing.

You really want your partner to feel safe sharing difficulties with you.

What to do:
1. Ask questions with honest curiosity:
EJemplo: ¿Cómo estuvo tu día?
¿Cómo te fue en la entrevista?

2. Offer your help by asking:
¿Puedo ayudarte de alguna manera?
¿Hay algo que puedo hacer para ayudarte en esta situación?

If there is something that you know might help you can offer it: ¿Quieres tomar algo?
¿Quieres un abrazo?
¿Quieres hablar sobre esto?
¿Quieres salir a caminar?

What happens when you do this: You let the person express the emotions verbally which helps to process what is happening and reduces the load of the situation. When the other person feels seen and heard without being critizised they feel connected and loved, it reduces the fear when recognizing there is someone there for me in this moment. When you ask how you can help, you show care and respect because you are allowing and trusting your loved one to decide what is best to do now and you want to be part of it.

What not to do:
1. Don´t say things like: No pasa nada/Eso no es nada/No es para tanto.
Why not? Those expressions can be common in Spanish and people use it with good intentions, trying to make the other person feel better. But the reality is that it can make the other person to feel wrong even ashamed of feeling what she/he is feeling.
The consequence: The person might not share what is happening, then maybe even withdraw and feeling alone and disconnected. In the future it can mean the person doesn´t share difficult moments or experiences with you, because of fear of not being heard. That´s why is better just to open the conversation with a question, then listen and maybe ask again, so the person has the opportunity to share and then ask what you can do to help. Many times you will get something like: thanks for listening, that helps me a lot and I already feel better.

Dar consejos/decir que hacer : la persona va a querer encontrar sus propias respuestas y necesita a alguien que le ayude a escucharse a si misma.

Mistake 1 -- consecuence


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