Some years ago a friend of mine did something which really helped me turn around a situation where I was feeling very challenged.  It took her all of two seconds. It was one of the best and most effective things I have ever come across.

I was moaning about a situation I was finding feeling very worried about to a friend of mine. All did was to say, rather matter-of-fact, “Oh you can handle that you are big enough…” I still remember the happy shock of it to this day – decades later. It really turned my attitude around.

Phrases like “you’ll know what to do”, “you can handle it”, “you will work it out”, “you will succeed”, “you can easily handle that”, are really powerful especially if delivered in a matter-of-fact tone as if talking about the weather. The lack of vocal stress is saying that this is just an obvious fact – and that makes it even more powerful.  Also it helps prevent inner resistance or objections coming up from the recipient.

I think is maybe one of the best ways to help young people find their way in life: to occasionally drip feed simple clear positive statements delivered in a relaxed non-gushy tone (and then change the subject or say nothing more for max impact). Maybe every few days or so.

Or, such statements can help a friend turn around a difficulty situation by not being in agreement with their difficulty. Of course, it will not work with everyone. Some will want to cling to their painful anguish. Some people may start to avoid us if we come out with such things too often. But, then again maybe that would be no bad thing…

Of course, we don’t want to belittle someones suffering. We may need to hear them out first, before they will let anything in. Maybe we need to modify it a bit sometimes, “I hear you this is maybe a bit difficult for you just now, but I think you can easily handle it once you have got things off your chest.” It is always wise to seek a balanced approach and not be rushing people into changing faster than they are ready. That being said it is a very useful technique to keep up our sleeve  – and try out now and again to pleasantly surprise some of the people we care about.