Coping with Other's Unsupportive Responses to Our Losses

Sometimes it's the people we are closest too that struggle the most with finding the right thing to say. Here are some questions to work through to gather some insight.


"Our Emotions Influence Our Relationships with Others, and Our Relationships with Others Influence Our Emotions."

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When we are surprised/hurt/disappointed by the reaction by a loved one/friend/colleague to the loss of our pet, it may be helpful to work through the following questions:

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Interpersonal Situation

• Describe the situation – what happened?


What had been my expectations of the other person?

  • What did I expect them feel?

  • What did I expect them to believe/think?

  • What did I expect them to do?

  • What did I feel and believe about myself in response?

  • What were my feelings?

  • What were my thoughts/beliefs?


My Resulting Behavior

• What did I do? How did I react?


What I did I learn?

• Realizations about myself and others


For example, it may be helpful to remember that not everyone in our life is an “animal person,” or understands the love and support our pets provided us with. When we are grieving, we draw the greatest strength from others like us who “just get it.” 🌿🤍


by Dr. Katie Lawlor


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