Join Paula Shaw as she talks about how to improve your skills for talking to people in pain and shares how to navigate your way through those “tough talks” so that you can feel more confident and competent when having them.


What do you say to someone who has just experienced a loss or some other type of traumatic event in their life? Most of us want to do what we can to comfort and support this person, but we may feel inept, uncomfortable, and apprehensive because we don’t know what to say or how to show up for them. After all, how can you ever find the right words to comfort someone who has just lost a loved one, lost their job, received an upsetting health diagnosis, or is going through a painful and messy divorce?

The truth is, there are no perfect words that you can say to make this person feel better. But, one of the worst things you can do is say something dismissive and insensitive or avoid having a tough talk altogether, because this leaves the person who is in pain feeling judged, misunderstood, and alone. And while none of us set out to make our loved ones feel this way, we sometimes do so unconsciously because we just don’t know what to say.

So, how can we create a sympathetic, reassuring, and supportive environment for this individual to feel safe enough to express their pain, process their feelings, and begin to heal? In this episode of Change It Up Radio, Paula Shaw explores the do’s and don’ts of compassionate behavior, things that are helpful to say and not helpful to say to someone that’s in pain, and the five steps of having a successful, tough talk.


We Discuss:

  • How to navigate tough talks with someone who is in a fragile state and in emotional pain
  • How change and loss and the subsequent grief all walk hand in hand together
  • Why we tend to not show up or feel competent enough to have tough talks with others
  • Consciously stepping out of judgment and shifting into our compassion and our humanity
  • What affects our communication and ability to have comforting and supportive conversations
  • The five steps of how to have successful, tough talks with the people in our life
  • Sentences that are helpful to say vs. not helpful to say to someone who is in pain


“When people are hurting, they’re fragile. And none of us wants to make their pain worse, but unfortunately, because we don’t feel competent to actually help them and we don’t really know what to say, we end up leaving them feeling abandoned and like nobody cares.”  –  Paula Shaw


About Paula:
Image of Paula Shaw - Change It Up Radio Show

Paula Shaw was Certified by the Grief Recovery Institute’s Program through Loyola Marymount Univesity 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.


“As humans, it’s not the easiest thing to have tough talks. But darn it, we’ve got to get better at it, especially at a time now when there’s so much pain in the world. We’ve got lots of stuff going on that people need to be able to speak about and get off their chest so that it doesn’t develop into depression, anxiety, and other kinds of physical illnesses.”  –  Paula Shaw


Saying the Right Thing When You Don't Know What to say by Paula Shaw


Check out the video from this episode below:


“Life has changed drastically since this pandemic started over a year ago, and there’s so much that we’re trying to adjust to. There’s so much that’s been taken away. And, of course, good times are ahead and things will improve, but right now, we’ve got a lot of people in pain. We’ve got a lot of depressed people and a lot of anxious people. And if we love any of those people, we want to be there to support them.”  –  Paula Shaw




Thanks For Listening!

Please share your thoughts with us:

If you enjoy the show, please subscribe and leave an honest review on iTunes. Your feedback is invaluable!