comfort

Using your experiences to support someone else

Anonymous said:
People often say that when you’re comforting someone else, you shouldn’t mention your own similar experiences. I understand that making the conversation entirely about you is rude and imappropriate, but isn’t it ok to at least briefly say, “yeah I can relate” and then continue with “that sucks a lot” etc?

realsocialskills said:   Bringing in your own experiences can actually sometimes be a good thing. There’s a specific way of doing it that’s bad, but you are entirely correct that showing ways you can relate can sometimes be good.   I wrote a post a while back about

listening to someone who is facing a bad situation

 that talks about good and bad ways to relate your own experiences.   And I want to add to that: You’re probably seeing a lot of people vent on the internet about thoughtless or otherwise bad things people said to them. That could make comforting someone who is struggling seem very intimidating; it could make it seem like you have to be sure you’re going to say the right thing before it’s ok to talk to them.   And it doesn’t work that way. You don’t have to be perfect to comfort someone. Sometimes, you’ll say the wrong thing. That’s ok. Everybody does, sometimes. It’s good to work on knowing what to say and how to say it, but be careful about worrying too much about that. You can really only get good at this through practice, and you can’t get practice by waiting until you’re absolutely sure you know the right thing to say before you offer anyone support.   Suffering can be very isolating, because people are often afraid of seeing people suffer in ways they can’t fix. Sometimes things aren’t ok, and aren’t likely to be ok any time soon, if ever. And if someone’s in that situation, chances are they’re surrounded by people who are trying to get them to feel better.   If you’re not trying to make them feel a different way, you’re willing to acknowledge that things are hard, you’re listening to them, and you’re treating them with respect, you’re probably doing fairly well. Even if you sometimes say the wrong thing.

genderhawk:

realsocialskills:

hi realsocialskills! i have been a fan of your blog for a long time, and i was hoping you might be able to help me.

because of my physical health, my amazing occupational therapist is getting me a new bed, and it’s arriving this monday! a hospital bed at that. it’s going to be adjustable and all, helping me immensely. the worry is, it’s going to be too hospital-y and i won’t be comfortable/at ease in it, and therefore unable to sleep. (the amount of time i’ve spent in hospitals for my own and other people’s health is staggering, so i’m quite concerned about this possibly being an alienating experience instead of a helpful one.) i’m already planning on putting my garland of rose lights around the side of it, and also spraying some perfume on it so it doesn’t smell so weird, but i’m not sure of anything else i could do to make it feel less weird.

any suggestions would be so welcome! thank you very much for your time, have a nice day!

realsocialskills said:

I’m not sure what to suggest, but I bet a lot of y’all do.

I wonder if there’s a way you could modify your bed that wouldn’t be allowed in a hospital? Like, putting stickers on it, or painting your name on it with nail polish or something. That might make it feel more like your bed that you control rather than like being in a hospital.

Anyone want to weigh in?

genderhawk said:

I had a hospital bed as my personal bed at home for over a year, using a mattress cover that was soft helped a lot (the bed had a water resistant cover that couldn’t be removed) and I wrapped it with streamers and decorated it a lot. I also used all my own bedding to avoid that hospital bed sheeting.

hi realsocialskills! i have been a fan of your blog for a long time, and i was hoping you might be able to help me.

because of my physical health, my amazing occupational therapist is getting me a new bed, and it’s arriving this monday! a hospital bed at that. it’s going to be adjustable and all, helping me immensely. the worry is, it’s going to be too hospital-y and i won’t be comfortable/at ease in it, and therefore unable to sleep. (the amount of time i’ve spent in hospitals for my own and other people’s health is staggering, so i’m quite concerned about this possibly being an alienating experience instead of a helpful one.) i’m already planning on putting my garland of rose lights around the side of it, and also spraying some perfume on it so it doesn’t smell so weird, but i’m not sure of anything else i could do to make it feel less weird.

any suggestions would be so welcome! thank you very much for your time, have a nice day!

realsocialskills said:

I’m not sure what to suggest, but I bet a lot of y'all do.

I wonder if there’s a way you could modify your bed that wouldn’t be allowed in a hospital? Like, putting stickers on it, or painting your name on it with nail polish or something. That might make it feel more like your bed that you control rather than like being in a hospital.

Anyone want to weigh in?

sissacraft:

some replies about comfort in a new flat

realsocialskills:

dohegotthebunty said:Humidity level can be another sneaky discomfort

destroy-harime-nui said: If you had pictures or art you had displayed in your old apartment, put them up again! I’ve moved from dorm to dorm these past few years and I use my posters and art to make the room feel…

sissacraft said:

The first things I tend to do when I move in to a new space are to paint any new furniture I can to make it very visually mine distinctly mine. (I have a love of really bright goglors that they dont usually sell furniture in). I also put up all of my decorations as quickly as possible, sometimes even before the furniture is ready. the basic thing is to fill the space as much as I can with things that are visually MINE, which for me means covering as much of walls with as much vivid color as I can.

Also, for me getting the floor plan of the new place before I move and plotting out how to arrange every thing and how  want it to be really helps me transfer my home feelings to the new space.

some replies about comfort in a new flat

dohegotthebunty said:Humidity level can be another sneaky discomfort

destroy-harime-nui said: If you had pictures or art you had displayed in your old apartment, put them up again! I’ve moved from dorm to dorm these past few years and I use my posters and art to make the room feel like home.

@snouted said: I’m neurotypical and I have struggled with this at times too. I try to set some of my stuff up in the same orientation it was - like, if I had a lamp and stuffed animals on the RIGHT of my bed, I make sure to do the same in the new place.

galacticpleasuredome said: I just had a fire at my house, so I set up my new bed with the same blankets and pillows as my last, made my favorite food, and sat in bed and watched my favorite show. also if you have friends, having them over can make a space feel like your own.

To make the place feel like your own, do something illogical to the place just because you decide to. You might move the furniture into odd positions and leave it there or put it back again, or sprinkle baking soda all over the floor and then vacuum it up again, or arrange some small objects in a pattern as decoration, or something. To feel as if you’re in charge and can do whatever you want, and that the place reflects your own individual creative thoughts.

comfort in a new flat

Anonymous asked realsocialskills:

This may be a strange question and isn’t really related to social skills, so I apologize if it’s a wrong place to ask. I’m autistic and recently I moved flats. I lived in the old one for 15 years. No matter how much I try, I don’t feel at home in my new flat. I can’t relax, it doesn’t feel like my safe place. I feel alien and it makes me stressed and tired. Do you (or your followers) have any idea what I can try to do to get used to it? It’s a new place, new furniture, and nothing feels right.

realsocialskills said: 

 It might be a matter of time. If you wait long enough, things might start seeming more familiar.

 But in the mean time: I wonder if it would help to do some really familiar things? 

  • Like, do you have a go-to TV show that you’ve watched over and over? Or a book you’ve read a zillion times? 
  • Reading/watching that a whole bunch of times in your new place might help it to feel comfortable and familiar. 
  •  Are there foods that smell or taste like comfort to you? 
  • Like, do you like the smell of cookies baking? Did you bake in your old place? If so, baking here might help too.
  •  Or ordering a kind of food you ordered a lot. 
  • Are there stim toys or blocks or anything that feel comforting and familiar to you? If so, using them might help.  (I never really feel at home in a new place until I’ve made a pattern with my pattern blocks.) 
  •  Do you have the same blankets you used to have? If not, it might help to get some that are similar.

 Also, it’s worth checking around your place to see whether something is actually bothering you. It might feel like unfamiliarity when it’s actually that you’re physically uncomfortable, for instance:

  • Are the lightbulbs in your new place bothering you? Some people find florescent bulbs intolerable. If your old place had incandescent bulbs and your new place has CFLs, changing the lights might help.
  • How is the temperature? If the air is uncomfortable, you won’t feel as good in a place. Turning the temperature up or down, or getting a fan, might help.
  • Are there noises that bother you? Or is it too quiet? If so, wearing headphones or turning on background noise that you like (music, white noise, TV, etc) might make you more comfortable