- Saying “It Will Be Okay” To Someone Suffering
“Most often well-meaning people offer the anecdotal ‘It will be okay’ to those who are going through a painful and challenging ordeal,” says therapist Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW over email. “This seemingly benign comment unknowingly sends the message that the person’s suffering is a burden. It suggests that the sufferer feign optimism and conceal their hardship. This may result in people suppressing and repressing their pain. It may also create feelings of alienation and isolation, as the sufferer has to carry the truth of their malaise in private.”
- But first, what, exactly, is a true sociopath? “A sociopath falls into the category of cluster-B personality disorders,” therapist Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW tells Bustle, adding that they’re similar to psychopaths, but tend to be less savvy and less polished — and thus easier to identify.
- Don’t Criticize Their Partner Or The Relationship Directly
It’s easy for an outsider to bash someone’s partner for being a bad person — especially in this type of situation. But despite how you truly feel about it, psychotherapist Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW, tells Bustle that can backfire. “Too much probing and direct disapproval of the abusive dynamic would likely result in the friend/abuse victim severing ties,” she says.
- Reverend Sheri Heller, a New York City-based interfaith minister and relationship therapist, also described how “[f]requent intense conflict indicates difficulties with conflict resolution and communication.” These difficulties can be rooted in problems ranging from the relatively benign — such as immaturity — to the deeply toxic, such as narcissism or abuse. “Narcissistic abusers may be prone to episodic tantrums,” she noted, and for such people, “intermittent intense conflicts establish the foundation for an addictive relationship and traumatic bonding.”
- But what if our addiction problem is more complex than any solution science can conjure? According to the Rev. Sheri Heller, a New York-based psychotherapist and interfaith minister, addiction may be biochemically based, but the psychological and spiritual aspects of the disease still demand attention.
- We spoke with Sheri Heller, a licensed clinical social worker who works with people affected by addiction, childhood adversity, and PTSD, about ways to navigate the holiday season alone.