2. Let them take center stage.
Taylor Swift was on the stage accepting a Video Music Award when her speech was interrupted by Kanye West—who took center stage and voiced his opinion that the award should have gone to Beyonce. Taylor just quietly slipped off stage. The moment became about Kanye.
Later in the show, Beyonce went to the stage to accept her own award for Video of the Year. The 28-year-old said, “I remember being 17 years old, up for my first MTV Award with Destiny’s Child and it was one of the most exciting moments in my life. So I’d like Taylor to come out and have her moment.”
Kanye was uniformly criticized for his rude behavior. He stole the spotlight. Beyonce’s gracious willingness to share the spotlight rightfully was soon ignored by the press.
Your loved one in pain is like Taylor. It’s their moment. Many family and friends stay away because they think they’re about to step into the spotlight, and they don’t know what to say. You might know someone who acted like a caregiving Kanye West by going on and on about a friend with the same diagnosis as your loved one. The story usually ends poorly. This is rude.
Beyonce’s actions offer a shining example about what caregivers know to be true: when caregivers step out of the limelight, they can shine even more brightly.Let your loved one in pain take center stage.
Imagine you’re in the audience learning all about what it’s like for your loved one to go about their days. Find out what’s important to them. Think of your job as saying with words and actions, “I see you. I hear you. What’s important to you is important to me.”