ADVICE COLUMN: SUPPORTING A FRIEND OR PARTNER IN A “FREAK OUT” MOMENT.

Video (and transcript) advice column for Shameless, by Sarah Mangle

“And so, what you can do if somebody close to you is having one of these moments is, number one, is to remain solid and present with them. This is not a moment to ask them a hundred questions, or to give all the power of the situation to your person. This is really a moment to provide an architecture of safety for your friend. Offering a glass of water is a great thing to do, and also narrating what you’re going to do. Not narrating what you’re seeing the other person doing, but narrating what you’re going to do: “I’m going to sit here beside you.” “I’m going to breathe next to you.” “I’m going to open the window to get some air.” “ I’m going to sit with you here as long as you need me to sit here.” Just things like this to announce what you’re doing and sometimes that verbal announcement can also interrupt a feeling that a person is trapped inside their own head. So those are some things that I would suggest.”

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