That's my guess, anyway.
It's times like this that I sometimes wish I was a man. There's the obvious---I would love to write my name in the snow just once (okay, full disclosure: I tried to do this once when I was in college, during a ski trip. Unsuccessful.) Additionally, I would like to be able to pass along words of wisdom, man-style.
It seems to me that men deal with tough issues one of the following ways:
1) "That sucks, man."
2) "Do you wanna get a drink?"
3) "I think Ice Road Truckers is on."
This is not to negate the helpfulness of these remarks. Men, as a general rule, acknowledge, avoid, deflect, and deal. There isn't a lot of "processing" or "emoting." That is, unless, you're Robert Smith of The Cure. Or these guys.
For most men, a hearty "That sucks, dude," is sufficient.
Women, on the other hand, talk through their problems. It's hard to say the right words at the right time.
My tendency, at times, is to share my own experiences to shed light on a specific problem or add a different perspective. I fear that this is not helpful, but yet another way to feed my narcissism.Yet, I know that I have had life experiences for a reason, and God has put people into my life specifically. So when do I share, and when do I shut up?
I offer prayers, but I do not take this time to evangelize. Should I? I don't want to add stress to a person, nor do I want to close the door on an opportunity.
I listen, and listen, and nod my head, and cry with friends. But when it comes to words, I feel like the best I can do is, "That sucks," or a slightly kinder version, "I'm so, so sorry."
So, what do you do? What are the right words when friends deal with illness, disorders, fear, death, miscarriage, divorce, abuse, infertility, broken relationships, hospitalization, accidents, or any other BIG THING in this sometimes cruel and relentless world?
Are there right words? How do you know what to say?