Framework for Care of Upset Person

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funeralxempire
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22 Oct 2021, 10:24 am

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Framework for Care of Upset Person:
Upset states are, in the vast majority of cases, less about specific solutions than they are about emotional experience, like you somewhat mentioned already. In order to keep from escalating them, or making people feel more upset and/or rejected, it needs to be approached with this in mind. Solutions aren't wrong either, but they can't be the immediate response.

Method for Care:
1) Acknowledge and understand emotion. Start by trying to identify what is being felt by the other person. Asking directly is perfectly acceptable, as is following up with specific questions to clarify things you might be misunderstanding. This serves the two functions of giving you more information to work with, along with reassuring the other person that you are listening to them.
2) Validate emotion. Even if the other person is being 'unreasonable' to you, or their emotional state doesn't make sense after you've asked several questions, that does not mean it is invalid to them. Their emotions need to be recognized as valid and having good reason from their perspective, which may include information or experiences you are unaware of and/or they can't really explain. Most conflict escalations come from emotions not being recognized as valid like this.
3) Offer advice and/or solutions, but don't force them. Be present. Gentle reassurance is important, and touch may be good with permission (if it is a close enough social relationship). Let the other person vent and express themselves if needed, while asking clarifying questions like in step 1. People often need to feel emotionally validated before they are willing to talk in more detail, even close partners.
4) Repeat step 3 every 3-5 minutes if offer for advice is not requested/accepted, and if they are no longer actively venting. This should help them calm down until you can give advice or they affirm that they feel good enough to continue without advice.


My friend posted this and it seemed like it would be useful to share. Quite often posters here seek to council others but seem too focused on offering solutions and miss the more important part of offering comfort.


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Fnord
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22 Oct 2021, 10:45 am

Thank you for sharing.



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22 Oct 2021, 11:39 am

funeralxempire wrote:
Quite often posters here seek to council others but seem too focused on offering solutions and miss the more important part of offering comfort.


Definitely guilty, but to be fair, people often say when it comes to these things "do what you'd want them to do if your roles were switched" and when I actually tell of my problems to other people, what I'm after first and foremost is solutions, not comfort. It's only in the recent years sunk in for me that most people would want me to act in a very different way than I would like them to act if I was in their shoes when it comes to telling of my problems. But apparently, lot of people around me, and no, I'm not pointing any fingers on this forum, seem to think that I should do things the way they want but that they don't need to do things the way I want. :roll:



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22 Oct 2021, 12:21 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Quote:
Framework for Care of Upset Person:
Upset states are, in the vast majority of cases, less about specific solutions than they are about emotional experience, like you somewhat mentioned already. In order to keep from escalating them, or making people feel more upset and/or rejected, it needs to be approached with this in mind. Solutions aren't wrong either, but they can't be the immediate response.

Method for Care:
1) Acknowledge and understand emotion. Start by trying to identify what is being felt by the other person. Asking directly is perfectly acceptable, as is following up with specific questions to clarify things you might be misunderstanding. This serves the two functions of giving you more information to work with, along with reassuring the other person that you are listening to them.
2) Validate emotion. Even if the other person is being 'unreasonable' to you, or their emotional state doesn't make sense after you've asked several questions, that does not mean it is invalid to them. Their emotions need to be recognized as valid and having good reason from their perspective, which may include information or experiences you are unaware of and/or they can't really explain. Most conflict escalations come from emotions not being recognized as valid like this.
3) Offer advice and/or solutions, but don't force them. Be present. Gentle reassurance is important, and touch may be good with permission (if it is a close enough social relationship). Let the other person vent and express themselves if needed, while asking clarifying questions like in step 1. People often need to feel emotionally validated before they are willing to talk in more detail, even close partners.
4) Repeat step 3 every 3-5 minutes if offer for advice is not requested/accepted, and if they are no longer actively venting. This should help them calm down until you can give advice or they affirm that they feel good enough to continue without advice.


Yes I get that. Its common for salespeople to be trained in this way. Ask questions, listen, empathise and then use the information you have gleaned and the trust you have gained to offer a solution, i.e. sell your product.

I can only speak for myself here but I'm guessing that I'm not so unique. If I go on a subforum like say "love and dating" some of people's issues or challenges look like puzzles to me. It gets to a point where I even sometimes believe that some of the scenarios have been set up with the intention of giving people like me something to puzzle over. With this I can't help myself but to look for a solution. It's the way my brain is wired.

That is not to say that I cannot use empathy and I do do my best in a lot of cases to apply empathy and just offer comfort.



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23 Oct 2021, 9:37 am

babybird wrote:
I can only speak for myself here but I'm guessing that I'm not so unique. If I go on a subforum like say "love and dating" some of people's issues or challenges look like puzzles to me. It gets to a point where I even sometimes believe that some of the scenarios have been set up with the intention of giving people like me something to puzzle over. With this I can't help myself but to look for a solution. It's the way my brain is wired.

That is not to say that I cannot use empathy and I do do my best in a lot of cases to apply empathy and just offer comfort.


I think one could say that you're wired to look at the facts first, then the people, while an average person is wired to look at the people first, then the facts.

...Actually, this might be the case for most on the spectrum.



funeralxempire
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23 Oct 2021, 3:32 pm

Fireblossom wrote:
babybird wrote:
I can only speak for myself here but I'm guessing that I'm not so unique. If I go on a subforum like say "love and dating" some of people's issues or challenges look like puzzles to me. It gets to a point where I even sometimes believe that some of the scenarios have been set up with the intention of giving people like me something to puzzle over. With this I can't help myself but to look for a solution. It's the way my brain is wired.

That is not to say that I cannot use empathy and I do do my best in a lot of cases to apply empathy and just offer comfort.


I think one could say that you're wired to look at the facts first, then the people, while an average person is wired to look at the people first, then the facts.

...Actually, this might be the case for most on the spectrum.


Based on how often it seems that people get hurt feelings on here from posters taking that approach I would suggest that many people on the spectrum aren't actually significantly different from average in that regard.


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23 Oct 2021, 3:42 pm

Thanks to funeralxempire for posting it and identifying the author.
It's been incorporated into the rules for The Haven: viewtopic.php?t=297515


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23 Oct 2021, 8:35 pm

In my experience I've found that women (NT or otherwise) are better at dealing with an emotionally distressed person than men are (NT or otherwise).

When I'm distressed or upset, I seek reassurance and sympathy, not advice. But then you can't really complain about people giving you advice because they mean well and are only trying to understand and care about you. But sometimes some advice can be frustrating. Like last year when I was in a state about the lockdown and the virus, I got some very complicated advice on WP that I felt wasn't possible to follow unless you have severe OCD and a very organised mind.

I'm not very good at offering advice anyway, I'm better at offering emotional support. But sometimes I feel that offering a little bit of advice shows that you are offering help.


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badRobot
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23 Oct 2021, 8:51 pm

How like 90% of people use this approach:

Quote:
Hugs!
I acknowledge and understand your feelings.
I really validate your emotion.
I think you should do something that makes you happy.



funeralxempire
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23 Oct 2021, 10:00 pm

Joe90 wrote:
In my experience I've found that women (NT or otherwise) are better at dealing with an emotionally distressed person than men are (NT or otherwise).

When I'm distressed or upset, I seek reassurance and sympathy, not advice. But then you can't really complain about people giving you advice because they mean well and are only trying to understand and care about you. But sometimes some advice can be frustrating. Like last year when I was in a state about the lockdown and the virus, I got some very complicated advice on WP that I felt wasn't possible to follow unless you have severe OCD and a very organised mind.

I'm not very good at offering advice anyway, I'm better at offering emotional support. But sometimes I feel that offering a little bit of advice shows that you are offering help.


One probably shouldn't complain when they're offered advice instead of sympathy, that's a pretty common social norm. It's can be hard though when the advice is frustrating like you describe, or even more so when the advice comes off as critical and unsympathetic. Usually it isn't done maliciously but it's generally interpreted as malicious and that sets off a pattern of conflict that doesn't need to occur.

Part of your observation about differences between men and women in these situations is likely due to how those situations are handled and for people who might struggle with handling things intuitively having a framework that's generally useful to refer to can make it easier to practice how to respond and over time it might become a more natural and intuitive response.

One of the things that people who like to give harsh advice sometimes over look is that your harsh advice is a lot more likely to be taken into consideration if you have some rapport with the person you're delivering it to. An easy way to establish that is to acknowledge and consider the other party's emotions. People sometimes seem to (unintentionally or not) set themselves up as an adversary and when that happens it rarely benefits anyone involved.


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babybird
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24 Oct 2021, 2:35 am

It might also be helpful if the person with the problem knows what they want before they post.

Like they could clearly state if they want advice or just sympathy or if they just are in need of processing something.

I mean I don't understand all that virtual hugging but if someone stated in their post that they could do with a hug then I'm sure I could happily oblige.



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24 Oct 2021, 5:55 am

babybird wrote:
It might also be helpful if the person with the problem knows what they want before they post.

Like they could clearly state if they want advice or just sympathy or if they just are in need of processing something.

I mean I don't understand all that virtual hugging but if someone stated in their post that they could do with a hug then I'm sure I could happily oblige.


Yeah, that would help, but didn't the rules of the Haven change recently in a way that people aren't allowed to give advice here on some post unless it's specifically asked for? That helps too; if someone doesn't say they want advice, I just often ignore the whole thread to avoid trouble.



funeralxempire
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24 Oct 2021, 10:51 am

I'd suggest the location of a thread is a strong indication of what the poster is after. If one wants primarily advice there's multiple subforums for that, one of which will likely be suitable for their post. If they're posting in The Haven they're communicating that support is desired.


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babybird
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24 Oct 2021, 11:21 am

You're obviously more in tune to these things than me.

I treat the whole of WP as a support forum. Unfortunately I'm not always as supportive as I ought to be.

I have never read the rules but I will make it My business to do so.



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24 Oct 2021, 11:24 am

Thanks for posting this. I think a lot of neurotypicals are guilty of this too. Dismissing feelings as illogical/ worries as being spoiled.

I also think that even if someone is being unreasonable and immature, maybe it is Just because of the state of mind they are in? I know that i can be oversensitive and illogical sometimes but saying that "you are being illogical/spoiled" etc. Doesn't accomplish anything. After validating the emotion, and maybe doing something that makes you feel better you can then see things more clearly and say "yes, i behaved irrationally, i was being oversensitive" and work on ways to resolve the problem



funeralxempire
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24 Oct 2021, 11:30 am

babybird wrote:
You're obviously more in tune to these things than me.

I treat the whole of WP as a support forum. Unfortunately I'm not always as supportive as I ought to be.

I have never read the rules but I will make it My business to do so.


I'm not especially in tune to these things, that's one of the reasons I think having a good framework/ground rules will be of benefit; it makes it easier to understand what's likely to be the most effective response.

Before I started responding similar to what this suggests I wasn't all that good at lending support and generally stayed out of The Haven for that reason. I agree with you that the whole of the forum is intended for support but that subforum has additional rules since it's purpose is essentially a safe-space. If more critical help and advice is desired there's somewhere else to post the thread, so where it's located can help guide with how a response should be handled.


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