Certain phrases widely used in everyday language can trivialize or minimize trauma. Discover the list of those to absolutely avoid, according to our expert psychologist, Amélie Boukhobza.
“It could have been worse”
“This phrase minimizes the severity of what a person may have experienced, almost implicitly suggesting that they should feel grateful that the situation was not more serious.“, confides the psychologist. A phrase to absolutely avoid!
“We have to turn the page”
“While this sentence may have a good intention, it mostly gives the impression that the person should simply forget their trauma and move on. Which is most often unachievable without appropriate support“, underlines Amélie Boukhobza.
“Everything happens for a reason” or “Nothing happens by chance”
“These dThese sentences can suggest or even imply the person’s responsibility for their trauma. Words that would ultimately only increase his feeling of guilt. To be absolutely banned“, assures the expert.
“Others have experienced worse”
“Comparing different traumatic experiences can have the effect of invalidating the person’s suffering, or even making them feel that their emotions are not legitimate.“, warns the specialist.
“You are strong, you will get through this”
“Although this may be said to encourage, it may also have the effect of putting undue pressure on the person to recover quickly.“, assures Amélie Boukhobza.
“It’s time to move on” or “It’s been a long time, you should have moved on”
“Dealing with trauma is much more complicated than that, you don’t just have to say it to do it! The healing process takes more or less time from one person to another, and the psychological temporality of each person must be respected.“, recalls the expert.
“Don’t think about it, stay positive” or “Try not to think about it”
“If it were enough to “stay positive” to forget the trauma, we would know! Asking someone to ignore their trauma or maintain a positive attitude can not only prevent them from dealing with their emotions to move forward, but can actually make stress and anxiety worse.“, says the specialist.
“Don’t let this define you.”
“While this phrase may be intended to encourage resilience, it may also downplay the profound impact that trauma can have on someone’s identity“, concludes Amélie Boukhobza.