I’ve had a phobia about injections my whole life. It’s so bad, in fact, that I’ve fainted during blood tests, and hurtled from examination rooms when left alone to stare at syringe dispensers too long.
Typically, a nurse or or doctor soothingly reassures me with a “don’t worry, it won’t hurt,” or “you’ll only feel a pinch.” But neither soothes nor reassures me, since I’m not afraid of pain. So usually, I only end up feeling worse, perpetuating the phobia.
Finding the right words to say means really understanding how a person (or an audience) feels.
I can’t think of a better example of that then the outstanding “It Gets Better” campaign aimed at gay teens and young adults who are often the victims of bullying and far worse.
“It gets better,” especially when spoken in these heartfelt videos made by others who have experienced the same pain, opens doors of conversation that “C’mon, it’s not so bad” only slam shut.
Congrats to Dan Savage who started the movement, and to the hundreds of people with the courage and creativity to bare their souls, and share their stories, to make a difference.