Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Many of us set the same New Year’s resolutions every single year, like quitting social media or cutting sugar from our diet, but we rarely stick to them. So, for 2023, let’s create a new kind of resolution and make the world a better place.
Where to Start?
We can start by learning to be a better friend. This means celebrating the good times, and having honest conversations when times are tough. At SHALVA, we know how difficult some conversations can be, but we also know the value of having them. If there is concern that a loved one is in a toxic relationship, it is normal to feel nervous or scared about the conversation. Here are some tips to start a difficult conversation in the New Year.
Resolution #1: Find a time and place to speak privately
Start with one of these helpful phrases to tell them that you are concerned. Then, give one or two specific examples of behaviors you have observed in their partner, like jealousy or texting your friend constantly. You may be the first person who has ever hinted that these things may not be acceptable or healthy.
Resolution #2: Talk less, listen more
Listening is sometimes the greatest gift we can give. Once you’ve opened the conversation, allow space for quiet and to just listen. Validate and believe whatever they share. They may have a lot to say, especially if this may be the first time the topic has been mentioned to them.. If they aren’t ready to talk, that is okay too.
Resolution #3: Be prepared with names of people or places that can guide them.
SHALVA, other community agencies, therapists, clergy, and school social workers are all places they can go for help and support.
Resolution #4: Stay in touch and respect their decisions
You don’t need to call every day. Just ask how often they want to hear from you. They might tell you they don’t want to talk about it. Let them know that you CARE and respect their decisions.
If you need guidance on what to say and do, try our interactive learning tool Show You CARE. It was designed to help you support someone experiencing domestic abuse. You can make a positive difference by providing validation and support.