In this case, most of the time you want just what I got today - validation. Validation that there is a reason behind why you are feeling the way you are. It is a quantitive thing - not an abstract 'time' thing. It is difficult hearing someone be upset at themselves - especially when you can see how far they have come in a relatively short time. But I guess when you look at how often someone who is in pain actually says anything - it's probably time to validate their feelings, let them get it off their chest and move forwards.
This is different of course for different people - if someone DOES complain everyday, then it is relevant to point them towards the positives. I can tell you, when someone is recovering from a trauma - chances are you only hear a tenth of what they are going through. It is so important to be supportive and if you want to know exactly how they are feeling, you need to ask the RIGHT questions. If you asked me how I was going, I would reply "fine". If you specifically asked me how my knee was, or how I was in the car etc you would be more inclined to get a clearer picture of how I am really.
Phew, a heavy one tonight. This goes back to ACTIVE listening and really thinking about your comments before saying them. Will they benefit the person who is talking? Or is it just to say something. The best response I have had on one of my days was "I love you anyway" - it made me smile, feel validated and be able to let go of some of the negativity.
…Until Tomorrow xox