"Oh, everyone does that sometimes."
If someone's describing something that's happened to them—do NOT say this. You might just be the reason an abused person convinces themselves that the abuse is normal.
What you can say instead: "Does that sort of thing happen a lot?"
That way, you can find out if the person is just venting about an isolated incident, or if they're trying to plead for help because something's wrong but they aren't sure (or can't bear to admit) what.
And if someone does tell you that something happens a lot, most of the time, or all the time? Don't assume they're exaggerating or being hyperbolic. I wasn't.
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Eyes Wide Shut: a collection of poetryPoetry
I often forget this, but I aced my poetry-writing class in college. I actually took the class with the hope it would teach me how to help my brother with his own poetry, as well as how to understand poetry better. The teacher said I have a very good...