Do you remember your mom yelling this across the lawn to you growing up “Be careful!!!”
Did that ever work to stop you from doing something dangerous? Did you every think “Huh, this thing I’m doing could have a gnarly consequence physically, so glad my Mom called out to me so I can slow myself down to recalibrate and adjust?” No? Me either.
So, maybe you aren’t climbing trees or running quickly around a wet pool anymore, but what is a better thing to say when you see someone behaving in a dangerous way that could hurt themselves and others?
Try using these phrases to someone next time instead of “be careful.” This works for physical and emotional scenarios as you help someone reach their own conclusions.
- “What is your plan?”
- “Listen to your body."
- “Do you feel safe?”
- “If X happens, how might you Y?”
- “Notice how…”
At the end of the day, people are going to do what they are going to do. But, if they value your input as a friend, these open ended offerings can help them reach a thought process they otherwise might not have! If you need someone in your life to help you gauge circumstances with an outside perspective, might I recommend seeking a licensed therapist. We are trained to view things without judgment and can help you identify self-destructive patterns as we discuss together.