What to do it the Story Teller gets upset

The Story Teller may become emotional.

Stories may trigger emotions

Stories from the past can trigger emotions for the Story Teller: loss of loved ones, lost friendships, inequalities or discrimation they experienced, etc.

These memories can be painful and make the Story Teller emotional. It is important that you, the Story Listener, deal with these situations sensitively so that the Story Teller feels safe in the conversation.

These are a few suggestions that can help you.

 Acknowledge the situation

You can acknoledge the situation by saying, for example: "I see that talking about this upsets you" or "I can tell from your reaction that this is difficult to speak about” or "I hear you say..." etc.

 Try to empathise with the Story Teller and the situation

When someone becomes emotional it is very important for them to feel safe and to be heard. To show empathy you can say:

  • “I can see that this experience is/was very difficult for you and that you feel/felt lonely”,

  • “I understand that it is difficult / painful / sad ...” or

  • “I can imagine that it saddens / angers you… “etc.

 Asking permission to continue

Ask the Story Teller if they are ready to continue with this topic or if they wish to talk about something else.