Ways to Deal with People Who Say the Wrong Things During Your Grief

Ways to Deal with People Who Say the Wrong Things During Your Grief

Your grieving period usually makes you susceptible to an emotional breakdown, and it gets to you quickly when people say inappropriate things during this period.

Some people intend to communicate these insensitive things, while others do not.

Depending on the situation, learning how to handle people who say the wrong things during your grief is pertinent.

People have good intentions but usually, ruin them by saying the wrong things.

It might be difficult to sift the people who mean well from those with bad intentions, especially when grieving.

However, it does help when you try to rationalize their behavior by realizing that they had good intentions but messed it up by saying the wrong things.

You can also try to correct insensitive people. Some people say the wrong things but do not realize it until you caution them.

You might want to ignore or silently stay hurt, but that will only make you feel worse and may not be a promising therapy for grief.

It is, therefore, essential to let people know they hurt you by what they said so they can make necessary adjustments.

Many people don't understand boundaries, so it is essential to create and stick to them strictly.

People tend to insert themselves into your grief by asking weird questions or giving unsolicited advice.

You are responsible for putting them in their place by creating your boundaries.

Continue reading to learn how to handle people who say the wrong things during your grief:

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Identify Their Intentions 

People who say the wrong things during your grief do not always have evil intentions.

Understanding that they do not wish you badly would make you handle the situation better.

If you know someone has a good purpose but says the wrong thing, you can quickly deal with such a person based on their intention.

It might be challenging to know when someone has bad intentions toward you, especially when you are grieving.

Some people have good intentions but do not have the right words, while others have an evil purpose but are good with words.

Therefore, it is essential to differentiate good intentions from bad intentions.

As humans, we are emotional beings and tend to rely on our feelings rather than be logical.

You cannot honestly know someone's intention by depending on what you are feeling at the moment.

Most times, we assume others have the worst perception of us and go on to think that everyone wishes us bad.

It is crucial to logically analyze the situation before concluding that someone intends to harm us.

Actions, they say, speak louder than words.

You can try to watch the activities of the person who says the wrong things to you.

For instance, if someone helpful during your grief says a bad thing, you can quickly know their intention and overlook what the person has said because the person does not intend to harm you.

Correct Them

Sometimes, correcting people who say the wrong things during your grief is necessary because they may not be aware that what they said made you feel bad.

Also, it is essential to know that you cannot control what others say to you, but you can control how you react to it.

Hence, it is necessary to shut them up when they tell you insensitive things.

Your grieving period is sensitive, and you need all the positivity you can get.

You don't have to feel guilty for cautioning someone who says something hurtful to you about your behavior during this period because it may not be about you but a mere projection of how the person thinks you should behave.

Insensitive comments can appear infuriating, and you might want to react aggressively. However, an aggressive answer may not adequately convey your message, so it is essential to correct the person calmly.

For instance, you could use phrases like "I appreciate your care, but I do not need such comments at the moment."

When you calmly but assertively correct someone who says the wrong thing, you let them know you are in charge of the situation.

Also, statements like this serve as positive affirmations that help you manage your grief. 

Create Boundaries 

Grief is not a pretty sight to behold, and people tend to get uncomfortable in the presence of grieving people.

People who say the wrong things during your grief might do so because they are awkward watching you suffer.

Thus, you are responsible for creating boundaries to protect your energy during this period.

You can create boundaries by creating space. Managing grief can be challenging, so you do not have to respond to everyone, irrespective of your closeness to them.

Instead of having personal conversations with people, you can send a broadcast message to everyone.

You might also take some time off social media to heal.

Furthermore, if you must have personal conversations with people, try to be clear about how you want them to relate to you.

Tell them your emotional needs and things they can do that might upset you.

This way, you are setting the proper boundaries, and it is unlikely they would say the wrong things to you.

Another way you can set boundaries is by appointing a messenger.

The messenger could be a relative or a random person you are comfortable sharing your feelings.

The messenger would be responsible for communicating to others about how you are feeling and what you need.

It would help reduce your communication with people. Hence they won't be able to say the wrong things.

Give Feedback 

Grief is usually a sudden experience, and nothing prepares the bereaved and their loved ones for the situation.

Also, no two cases of grief are the same, so you should not crucify people who say the wrong things during your grief because words that comfort another person might infuriate you.

You are already going through a lot and it might be a burden to give your friends feedback on how they treated you.

However, studies have shown that grieving people who communicate to their loved ones how they should treat them make their loved ones feel more supportive.

Although you might be reluctant to "tell" your loved ones how they should relate to you in this period because you think a good friend should know what to do, it is necessary to let your well-meaning friend understand what you need so they can behave accordingly.

Also, it is essential to note that the feedback can come from someone other than you, and you can pass your message without talking.

You can give your message to your friend who says the wrong things through a third party or let your actions speak for you.

Be Assertive 

Assertiveness is a vital attribute everyone should possess.

Being assertive does not mean you should be aggressive towards people who say the wrong things during your grief.

However, it means you should confidently and fearlessly tell them how you feel about what they said.

People tend to come up with different theories on how you should behave or give unsolicited advice when you are grieving.

It is your responsibility to prevent anyone from invalidating your feelings because you do not react to your loss in a certain way.

You can achieve this by being assertive.

Also, assertiveness helps you communicate your needs better.

If you have developed your level of confidence you will easily be able to tell your friends what you need to hear during your grief.

You would also know what to say to them when they are crossing a boundary politely.

Furthermore, when you are assertive, you better control your emotions.

When your feelings are in check, you behave properly when relating to someone who says the wrong thing.

Hence, you logically analyze the situation to respond appropriately.


People handle grief in different ways.

Hence, there is no universal therapy for grief.

However, there are general tips to handle people who say the wrong things during your grief: identifying their intention, correcting them, creating boundaries, giving them feedback, and being assertive.


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July 20th, 2024

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