What Not to Say: How to Respond to Others (Hardback)A. C. Grayling (author)
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 01/01/2010
- Out of stock
A relative, friend or colleague tells you - or you learn from some other source - that: he has lost his job, or failed an examination, or suffered a bereavement, or is getting divorced, or has been diagnosed with a serious illness. What do you say? How do you respond well to the problems and difficulties that afflict someone you know? People often find it awkward when confronted with other's difficulties. One terminally ill person said to Anthony Grayling that she was surprised, and sometimes amused by the unexpected responses she received from people around her: those who treated her as if her cancer were infectious, others - including people she did not know all that well - who became morbidly curious and intrusive, yet others (not least among her own relatives) who needed her to cheer them up, support them, comfort and reassure them, rather than the other way round; and those who did not know whether to tip-toe mournfully about or to carry on as if nothing had happened - in short, who did not know how to behave, and who were too afraid to ask her what she really needed and wished. The key to responding to people in difficulty - whether because of illness, bereavement, failure, divorce, or any other of the setbacks that attend the human condition - has already been mentioned. It is reflective imaginative sympathy, which means trying to understand how it is for those others, and adjusting one's behaviour towards them suitably. The aim is to extend a helping hand, like the hand that steadies someone on a slippery step.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
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