“People hate and judge you without even knowing you, they have no idea who you really are, so how can they possibly say anything about you if they don’t know your story?” – Unknown

Why is it so easy to judge others? Why do we find it so difficult to put aside our own judgments and accept that someone else may be going through a struggle about which we know nothing? I do not know. To this day, I do not understand why some people feel it is necessary to judge another’s feelings, particularly when it comes to grief. My best guess is that these people somehow think that if they can get a handle on the grief process that they will not be as traumatized if something happens to them.

Whatever the reason, you need to understand that if you judge someone else’s grief process, or any feelings of another person, you are basically saying that there is something wrong with that person. When you say things like “You should not feel that way,” or “I cannot believe you think that,” what you are really saying is that the person is wrong to feel a certain way. Well, feelings cannot be wrong; they simply are. We have little control over how we feel about something; the only thing we can control is how we react to our feelings.

Another reason that I believe people judge other people’s feelings is that they are afraid. It is hard to know what to say to someone who is openly grieving. So many people are afraid that they will mention the deceased loved one’s name and that the grieving family member will be traumatized. In most cases, I think this is probably inaccurate. Most family members fear that others will have forgotten their loved one, so hearing their departed one’s name can be like music to their ears. Of course you should always base your communications with a grieving loved one on their own wishes.

Remember, it is never our place to judge someone else’s grief. Simply be supportive and helpful, like the true friend that you are!

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