Today, we are talking about the power of showing up, being present, and learning how to effectively and compassionately communicate with people who are in emotional pain.

In this episode of Change It Up Radio, Paula explores a particularly sensitive topic… how to effectively communicate with someone who is grieving or in emotional pain. She discusses the blocks, fears, and reasons why people avoid having helpful conversations with loved ones who are hurting and grieving, and what causes the fears and lack of support.

She shares the essential keys to being able to develop the skills and confidence to have a truly helpful, healing, supportive conversation with someone in emotional pain.

Paula discusses the process of grief and how it is a personal journey that cannot be generalized or rushed and shares a list of phrases that should be avoided while interacting with someone in emotional distress that could potentially discount or minimize their feelings.

Throughout this episode, she provides a wealth of practical advice for having these challenging conversations and highlights the importance of empathy and genuine concern over intellectual solutions. Paula shares the essential keys to being able to develop the skills and confidence needed to have a truly helpful, healing, and supportive conversation with someone in emotional pain, and provides advice for how people in emotional pain can respond to unhelpful comments from others.

Some key topic points covered in this episode include:

  • The Importance of Empathy: The need for understanding and acknowledging the feelings of a person in emotional pain, rather than offering unsolicited advice
  • The Process of Grief: How grief is a personal and individual experience rather than a linear process that can be rushed
  • Ineffective Phrases: A list of phrases that could be hurtful or unhelpful when used in conversation with someone who is grieving or in emotional pain
  • Advice for the Person in Pain: Several phrases a person in emotional pain can use to communicate their needs more effectively
  • The Role of Presence: The value of just showing up and being present for those in emotional distress
  • How intellectual responses often fail to address emotional pain and can potentially discount a person’s feelings

About Paula:

Image of Paula Shaw - Change It Up Radio with Paula Shaw

Paula Shaw was Certified by the Grief Recovery Institute’s Program through Loyola Marymount University as a Grief Recovery Specialist. She has been helping grieving people for over 28 years, using mind/body techniques to guide them through the discomfort of change and challenge, eliminating stress, depression, anxiety, weight gain, relationship distress, career challenges, a lack of energy, and self-destructive, addictive behavior.

These tools bypass the conscious mind–which is often rendered useless when emotions overwhelm us–and they work directly with the subconscious mind to shift problematic thinking, feelings, and behaviors that can result. Through these methods, it is possible to feel a sense of power and control in your life in a very short time.

Paula helps individuals regain successful lives by quickly identifying and eliminating self-sabotaging behavior and limiting beliefs by uncovering and addressing their core issues. Working with a wide variety of healing modalities, she provides her clients with the most effective processes for their specific needs. Because every person has unique challenges, this customized approach is critical to their success.

Paula is also the author of Chakras, the Magnificent Seven, which is a primer to the Chakra System and how to use it for greater health and healing, Grief… When Will This Pain Ever End?, which looks at loss and grief and provides practical, simple articles, processes, and exercises to help a grieving person move through their pain and back into joyful living, and her latest book, Saying the Right Thing When You Don’t Know What to Say, which is a guide to navigating difficult conversations that provides five steps to creating helpful, healing conversations.

If you are experiencing issues that feel overwhelming and you think that you might need help to overcome them, Paula offers a complimentary 20-minute consult that you can book on her website,, or contact her at (858)-480-9234.

Check out the video of this episode below:

Resources Mentioned:

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