It’s the should have’s and would have’s that will kill someone. People who know what they should do but find ten excuses that kill their inner conviction. We are too afraid that we will make someone uncomfortable, that we will create an awkward moment. Go ahead. Make it uncomfortable. Make it awkward. When you see someone hurting, your going tos, should haves, and maybe laters aren’t going to help. They can’t read your mind. They don’t know how much you want to help if you never release your thoughts and turn them into notes and words and actions. Because guess what? There might not be a second time. This could be your only chance to change someone’s life. Don’t ever assume that there will be a later for you to muster up your courage and talk to someone. This isn’t about you. This is about waking up and not ignoring the problems around you because you think you might say the wrong thing.
Don’t think someone else is going to take care of it. Everyone thinks that. Everyone assumes that somewhere, some kind hearted person will notice that there is a broken human being in front of them and will help them find the pieces and put themselves back together. Yet if we all believe that someone else will take the responsibility, no one will.
Overreact to the smallest cues. If someone is talking in the past tense about a problem, it probably is very real in the present. If someone is making a joke about a hurt and pasting that smile over their sorrow, the hurt isn’t gone. If someone is becoming more and more outgoing, then they might be withdrawing on the inside. If someone seems to always be happy on the outside, they probably rarely have true joy.
Stop lying to yourself. Saying things like “It doesn’t mean anything” “They would talk to me if they needed help” People won’t. People will hide within themselves before they ever tell you they need you. If you misread a cue and talk to someone about it and you are wrong, that’s okay. They might think you are overly concerned and too analytical but it won’t hurt anyone. If you don’t speak up when you think someone is hurting, it’s not okay. They needed you. They desperately wanted someone to pick up on their hints and you ignored them for the sake of being comfortable and not rocking the boat. That was all they are going to give you to let you know something was wrong.
Call them out. Confront them.
They are crying. They are screaming. But they won’t ever tell you that. They want you to know something is wrong yet at the same time feel they must keep up the brave face. Tell them its okay not to be happy. Never let something go because you don’t have the time to deal with it. You aren’t just letting someone’s problem go; you are letting a human being slip away forever.