When you’re not sure whether something is wrong


sometimes i feel like i did something wrong but i am not sure and dont know what might have done. i usually say “i am sorry if i hurt you” because i dont know whether i did or not. but this seems really close to something people are saying…

forceyourway saidL

I might be careful with the first one. A lot of times, I have experienced (many) people saying “Is that a problem/Is there a problem?” as a challenge, especially people in a position of power (i.e. bosses, teachers, parents). The intention in asking is to shame and not to truly understand what the other person is experiencing; the only appropriate response to such a question is “no.”

I might suggest something more like

“Is something wrong? What are you feeling/thinking right now?”

“Is something wrong? I can see from your expression (name specific things: if they’re frowning, point it out) that you might be upset.”

“Is something wrong? (Indicate why you might think so, if this is happening via text interaction. Is there a shift in tone? Are they dropping punctuation when they’re normally very precise?)”

And follow with something like

“I want to understand what you are feeling.”
“I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I want you to be comfortable.”

realsocialskills said: That’s a really good point. I hadn’t thought of the way that “is there a problem” can be loaded, but you’re right, it definitely often is.