What are non-supportive words you should avoid saying to someone in difficult times?

  1. Avoid speaking on the person’s behalf. If there is a pause or delay before they communicate, wait for them to respond.
  2. Avoid talking about complex emotional topics in their presence, especially in times of crisis. Avoid detailed conversation – they may find it confusing.  
  3. Avoid assuming what they are thinking about, their wants or needs, even before they say so. Speak only for yourself. Listen to what they say, even if you do not agree with it.  
  4. Avoid vague or unclear statements as these are difficult for them to interpret and understand.  
  5. Avoid generalized comments such as, “He is useless”, “She can never do anything right” etc.
  6. Talk with the person with mental illness and not about them. This reduces negative emotions like hostility and criticism in them.