Over the weekend, the wife and I were catching up on some stuff from our DVR, including episodes of Young Sheldon, the spin-off, and prequel of The Big Bang Theory.
In this particular episode, the normally socially awkward Sheldon finds himself confused by the actions of another super-smart kid, who is dealing with the divorce of her parents. He seeks out advice on how to “fix” her and is told, as many of us probably would, that all he can do is hear her.
In typical Sheldon fashion, of course, he just sits and looks at her until she finally talks, and as he realizes that he cannot “fix” her, he makes this statement:
“Turns out listening is easy, just sit there, and when you want to leave, don’t.”
How simple, and yet powerful is that message? How many of us can sit there, and not leave, when someone we know is struggling? Watching someone struggle, sitting with them in their pain and struggle, is uncomfortable. There will always be that little part of you that wants to run away when it’s that uncomfortable. It’s not going to be fun, and it’s not easy. But if you want to support someone who’s struggling, remember those words, and don’t leave. Don’t find an excuse to get away from them, don’t assume they’ll reach out if they need you. Wait, until they are ready for you to leave, and even then check on them, stay involved with them.
Oh, and a hot beverage wouldn’t hurt either. 😉