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mazingerz88's avatar

What is the right way to talk to a friend who seems to be in trauma?

Asked by mazingerz88 (23110points) 1 week ago from iPhone

What are the right things to say and the things to avoid saying when a friend just experienced what seems to be trauma from almost losing total consciousness while driving on a highway at 70 mph. He managed to park the car and call 911 and got help.

After a brief hospital stay and heart monitoring at home for two weeks his doctor cleared him of any heart issues and said he could go back to work. But…he is presently unable to drive and even walk with confidence to do some work in his own yard. He sweats and trembles most of the time. He plans to seek pro help. In the meantime he wants to talk to friends hence this question. Thanks.

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8 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

“Provide emotional support
If they do want to talk, the following tips may be helpful. Choose a time to talk when you won’t be interrupted, or feel rushed or tired. Reassure them that distress is to be expected after what they have experienced.”

Helping someone who has experienced trauma – Phoenix Australia

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m not a professional nor a psychologist, therapist or psyciatrist. I’m an engineer. So don’t take my advice.
But I’d say something like: “Holy Crap, Bob! That sure sounds scary. Man you sure did all the right things! Good thinking! You had it under control! Just for my own info what did it feel like. Did you have a warning?” “You handled it so well.”
I would not say: “It wasn’t your time.” or “Someone was looking out for you.” or any of that higher power stuff.
I’d compliment him for getting himself out of a tough spot.

LadyMarissa's avatar

There is NO good thing to say to him. The best thing to do is JUST LISTEN!!! No matter how hard you try, you can’t understand what he’s going through. He mainly needs to talk & work though it himself!!! As his life gets back to normal he’ll regain some of his self confidence. He really should be talking with a pro who has experience in this type of situation.

IF you get to a place where you feel compelled to say something. I’d take Lucky’s advice on what to say…something to assure hm that his instincts were correct & that he handled everything exactly right!!!

kritiper's avatar

Just be a good listener. Respond with remarks that are neutral and not at all condescending. Don’t offer advice unless asked. But most importantly, LISTEN!

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Concentrate more on creating a safe place for your friend and less on words. Trauma removes all sense of personal safety. If your friend knows that your presence means they are safe, they will be grateful.

mazingerz88's avatar

Thanks jellies. We met and it lasted 75 minutes with him talking and me listening 90 percent of the time. As per advise by another friend, I didn’t ask any “Why” questions. I did have several “What” questions.

Gizzy11's avatar

Like you should talk to anyone with calmness and sincerity.

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