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Silent Hugs

Once when I was in Holland I stayed with a Dutch family for a few days. One day the mother went to the store and said she would be right back. I didn't expect any dramas, but soon one of her daughters, about 7 years old, came downstairs crying. I was sitting at the computer and knew I should do something, but wasn't sure what that something was, since I couldn't speak a word of Dutch. The girl sat on the sofa and looked over at me. I decided to go sit next to her.

She moved a bit closer to me and I put my arm around her to comfort her in the only way I could think of. First she put her head into my chest and cried. Then she looked up for a few seconds. Next she started talking. But since it was in Dutch, I understood almost nothing at all. The only thing I did understand was name of her sister, who she had been upstairs with. I assumed they got into some kind of argument and that is why she came down crying. I just held her and gently touched the top of her head, still wondering what else I could or should do, and hoping for her mother to come back to save me! But that didn't happen.

Instead, in about one minute or less, the girl looked up at me and smiled. Then she got up and went back to play. The whole time I had said absolutely nothing.

This showed me the value of a silent hug. It also showed me that you don't need to say anything to comfort someone. You don't need to talk them out of their pain. Just be there for them and the pain will pass right out of them.

-

S. Hein


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Respect | Empathy
Caring | Listening
Understanding

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Literacy
Invalidation | Hugs
Emotional Abuse |
Feeling Words
Depression | Education
Emotional Intelligence
Parenting | Personal Growth

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