In my last post I introduced the A in my A.C.C.E.P.T.™ program, Acknowledge. Today I want to talk about the first C – Show compassion and caring in your communications to be heard and understood and to hear and understand.
When someone comes out to their parents as LGBT and one or both parents are not accepting, communication is all but impossible. The parent doesn’t know what to say and either says nothing or says the “wrong” thing. The young person feels rejected and not accepted and usually shuts down, stops talking and communication stops. The LGBT youth doesn’t feel safe talking about their life anymore and may not feel safe talking about anything, even mundane topics.
The first step to returning communication is to have compassion for the other person. It is not necessary to understand at this point but merely to be compassionate about where the other person is coming from. For the child, they can have compassion for a parent who suddenly has to adjust their view and expectations for their child. For the parent, they can have compassion for the courage their child showed in coming out, compassion for the trust they had in them to tell them the whole truth about who they are.
When the love is still there, it is important to focus on that, connect to that. That will promote the healing and further the understanding.
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