When many people see a loved one in pain, they want to fix the situation so their family member, friend, or colleague can feel better. It is natural for people to go into “problem-solving” mode and focus their energy and attention on their loved one. While you can help your loved one by being a supportive, non-judgmental friend, it’s also important to take care of your own needs.
Some people solely want to focus on their loved one because it can give them a sense of control, which may feel better than trying to process their own reactions. Just as your loved one may feel overwhelmed by his or her reactions to the crime, you may feel overwhelmed by your own reactions.
Focusing on your loved one may feel better than thinking about your own reactions, but it’s important that you pay attention to your own reactions, too. Just like how your loved one can process his or her reactions and feel more solid, you can too. This won’t only help you, it will put you in a better position to help your loved one.